No. 10 Cyclones turn down Red Raiders

AMES, Iowa – Texas Tech had its two-game winning streak snapped with an 82-74 loss at No. 10 Iowa State on Saturday at Hilton Coliseum.

The Red Raiders (18-7, 7-5 Big 12) fell to 2-5 on the road, while the Cyclones (20-5, 9-3 Big 12) improved to 15-0 at home overall and to 6-0 in conference play after jumping out to a 38-24 halftime lead. Tech, which is now 4-4 against ranked opponents, had 16 turnovers in the game and saw ISU finish with a 28-0 scoring advantage off turnovers along with being outscored 44-22 in the paint.

“Ultimately, their ability to turn turnovers into baskets was the difference, 28 to nothing,” Texas Tech coach Grant McCasland said. “Not all of it was live ball, some of it was live ball, some was dead ball. Our defense is improving. I thought we scrapped more in the second half. I thought we got after it and got into the mix. We didn’t back away. We were more aggressive trying to get loose balls. We did a better job rebounding but it was just too little, too late.”

Texas Tech returns to Lubbock where it is 13-1 this season to host TCU at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at United Supermarkets Arena before playing at UCF next Saturday in Orlando, Florida. The Horned Frogs (18-7, 7-5 Big 12) won 85-78 over the Red Raiders in the first meeting between the teams on Jan. 30 in Fort Worth and is coming off a 75-72 win at Kansas State on Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas.

Joe Toussaint led the Red Raiders with 16 points and four assists, while Darrion Williams recorded his third straight double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Robert Jennings made his second start of the season and finished with 13 points and five rebounds and Chance McMillian added 10 points and six rebounds. Pop Isaacs would be held to eight points and KyeRon Lindsay finished with a  season-high six points in 11 minutes of play. Tech senior Warren Washington missed the game against Iowa State with a foot injury. Washington had started 23 of 24 games this season after not playing at Baylor due to illness. He is averaging 10.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game, currently ranking third in the Big 12 in rebounding and blocked shots after going for 11 points, six rebounds in the win over No. 6 Kansas on Monday in Lubbock.

Williams hit his first two shots against the Cyclones before a miss that ended a streak of 15 straight makes that dated back to the win against UCF and going 12-for-12 in the 79-50 win over No. 6 Kansas on Monday in Lubbock. A sophomore from California, Williams was 3-for-5 in the game with two 3-pointers and a 4-for-4 showing at the free-throw line. Toussaint led Tech in scoring for the sixth time this season after going 6-for-9 from the field and 3-for-4 on 3-pointers. Kerwin Walton finished with nine points with three second-half 3-pointers.

Tech finished the game 18-for-22 at the free-throw line, was 8-for-28 on 3-pointers and had a 45.3 overall shooting percentage. The 16 turnovers were the most for Tech in Big 12 play this season and followed the team having only eight turnovers in the win over the Jayhawks earlier this week.

Keshon Gilbert had a game-high 24 points, eight rebounds, and five assists for the Cyclones after going 8-for-16 from the field and 4-for-7 on 3-pointers. He was one of five Cyclones in double-figures in the game with Curtis Jones scoring 12 while Robert Jones, Milan Momcilovic, and Tamin Lipsey finishing with 10 points each. ISU finished the game 33-for-70 (47.1%) from the field, 6-for-19 (31.6%) on 3-pointers and was 10-for-15 at the free-throw line.

“They put pressure on you with their size and rebounding,” McCasland said. “When you get out there and they start to move pieces I felt like the defense that transitioned to offense wakes this place up. Their transition game is great.”

Iowa State took a 38-24 lead into halftime after outscoring Tech by a 20-0 margin on turnovers and limiting the Red Raiders to only 7-for-21 (33.3%) shooting from the field and 1-for-10 on 3-pointers. Tech had 10 turnovers at the break. The Cyclones had only two. Williams led the Red Raiders with seven points and three rebounds at the break, while McMillian and Lindsay had six points each. Williams made Tech’s only 3-pointer during the first half while Isaacs was 0-for-4 and finished the half with two points coming at the free-throw line. Tech was 9-for-12 at the line and ISU was 2-for-4. Jones and Momcilovic led the Cyclones with eight points each, while King and Gilbert had six. Iowa State was 17-for-39 from the field and 2-for-11 on 3-pointers to take the 14-point lead. The Cyclones had an 11-0 run that gave them a 26-10 lead with a Jones 3-pointer and Momcilovic jumper before Issacs made a pair of free throws to make it 26-12 midway through the half. A Williams 3-pointer gave him 15 straight makes that extended over three games and cut the deficit to 28-15.

“The team played really hard and caused us problems early in the game,” McCasland said. “I thought they beat us to a few pivotal loose balls. We didn’t shoot it great in the first half and that’s accredited to their defense. We were able to get a couple open looks and when you finally do get those over the physicality of the game you feel the squeeze to make them and I felt like this place squeezed us today.”

The second half started with the teams exchanging 3-pointers, first Iowa State then Walton knocking down his first shot of the game with a 3-pointer to make it 43-27. Walton’s second 3-pointer of the half followed one from Gilbert on the other end and had it at 46-30 four minutes into the second half. Toussaint made his first 3-pointer of the game for a 53-37 game before an Iowa State immediate response that had it at 58-37 on the next two possessions. A third Walton 3-pointer brought it back to 18 and before a Gilbert fastbreak layup made it 60-40 with 10 minutes to play. Williams was at 10 points and had Tech on a 7-0 run with his second 3-pointer that made it a 60-47 game with eight minutes remaining before Gilbert responded again for ISU with a 3-pointer that pushed the game back to 63-47 with 7:12 on the clock.

Toussaint hit his first 3-pointer for a 69-54 game with 5:42 to play and then a jumper by Jennings had it at 13 with five minutes remaining. The game was within 10 at 73-63 with an and-one from Toussaint with 2:41 to play before ISU took a 12-point lead on a Gilbert layup. Jennings would get the game to single-digits with a pair of free throws with 51 seconds remaining, an Isaacs layup put it at 77-69 with 28 seconds, and a 3-pointer from Toussaint with seven seconds remaining brought it as close as it was in the second half.

Release Provided By Wes Bloomquist Texas Tech Athletics

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