Fri, 01 Dec 2023

No. 12 Iowa State seeking sweep of Texas Tech

Field Level Media
30 Jan 2023, 04:19 GMT+10

No. 12 Iowa State will look to rebound from a shaky loss when it returns to Big 12 Conference play on Monday night at Texas Tech.

The Cyclones (15-5, 6-2) head to Lubbock, Texas, following Saturday's 78-61 setback at Missouri in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. It was their third loss in five games since an 84-50 home rout of the Red Raiders (11-10, 0-8) on Jan. 10.

That lopsided defeat was part of an eight-game losing streak for Texas Tech, which finally halted the slide Saturday with a 76-68 victory at LSU.

In the first meeting in Ames, Iowa, Gabe Kalscheur scored 25 points to lead Iowa State. The Cyclones scored their most points and also allowed their fewest points in a Big 12 game this season. It was a season-low scoring output for the last-place Red Raiders.

Texas Tech trailed LSU 56-51 midway through the second half but got a spark from Kevin Obanor with a pair of putbacks that ignited a rally. Kerwin Walton was also a huge factor in his first start of the season with 17 points, bolstered by 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range.

"Obviously, it has been a really tough January for us," Red Raiders coach Mark Adams said. "We have been in every game except one and have not been able to finish them. It was great to see these guys get off to a great start and then finish. They made plays down the stretch to help us win, so it is certainly a confidence-builder."

Iowa State was left with the opposite feeling, especially on defense -- an area where the Cyclones have dominated most of the season.

Missouri's 78 points were the most scored by an opponent in regulation this season. The Tigers' 14 3-pointers were the most allowed by the Cyclones since 2020.

"They came out with a lot of confidence," Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. "They shot the ball well early which allowed them to get their press set and put us on our heels a little bit more."

And that led to turnover problems for the Cyclones. They coughed the ball up a season-high 19 times, which led to 20 Missouri points.

The focus shifts to a Texas Tech team that has been competitive in most Big 12 games, but offensively challenged when it had chances to close out games. Injuries have plagued the Red Raiders, who were without Pop Isaacs (ankle) and Fardaws Aimaq (foot) on Saturday, and neither is likely to be available Monday.

Besides big days from Obanor (22 points) and Walton, De'Vion Harmon also stepped up for Texas Tech against LSU with 14 points, eight assists and only two turnovers in 34 minutes to help the Red Raiders taste success for the first time since Dec. 27.

"This win was significant for a lot of reasons," Adams said. "I thought we played very good basketball for most of the game. I thought we did well on both ends and shared the ball. We had individuals who really stepped up."

--Field Level Media

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