MBB: Cyclones fall to Longhorns in Kansas City

Michael Zogg —

KANSAS CITY— Close, but not quite.

The Cyclones’ season ended like most of their Big 12 games did this season: in a disappointing loss.

Iowa State fell to Texas 82-75 in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Wednesday night.

The Cyclones fought hard but, in what has become the story of the season for this year’s squad, it was not enough to achieve victory.

After keeping the game close for the first 32 minutes, Iowa State gave up an 8-0 run that gave Texas a 12-point lead and all but sent them on to the quarterfinals.

The Cyclones managed to fight back to within six points with just over one minute left, but Texas kept the Cyclones at arm’s length.

Iowa State was led by junior Craig Brackins and senior Marquis Gilstrap with 18 and 17 points in what could be the last game in a Cyclone uniform for the pair. Diante Garrett added 14 points and Scott Christopherson scored 10 points for Iowa State.

Damion James led the way for Texas with 28 points and 16 rebounds. Dexter Pitman chipped in with 16 points and was a force down low all night.

The game started off slowly for the Cyclones as the Longhorns got off to 7-0 start and looked as if they may run Iowa State out of the gym.

Garrett got the Cyclones on track, however, hitting a wide open mid-range jump shot, igniting a 9-2 run to tie the game back up.

Despite Justin Hamilton’s early foul trouble, picking up three personals before the 10-minute mark, Iowa State managed to hang with the Longhorns all half. The Cyclones were aided by LaRon Dendy, who was a spark off the bench in the first half for the team. Dendy scored eight of his 12 points in the first half.

Except for Iowa State’s 19-18 lead with 10:03 left, Texas led the entire half, but were unable to extend their lead beyond six points.

The start of the second half looked eerily similar to the game on Jan. 17, in which Texas stormed out of halftime and went on a 8-0 run. The Longhorns scored the first four points of the half, but Gilstrap put an end to any thoughts of a repeat performance with a long 3-point shot.

Although the Cyclones seemed to be perpetually knocking on the Longhorns’ door, they were not able to take a lead.

Iowa State finally hit a cold streak, going over four minutes without scoring. Texas put the game away during that streach scoring eight points, and finally pushing the Longhorn lead to double digits.