Iowa State’s bench steps up but is blown out by Oklahoma


Terrence Lewis uses a George Conditt screen to drive toward the basket against Kansas State on Feb. 8.

Matt Belinson

Iowa State needed its players to step up after losing Tyrese Haliburton to a season-ending wrist injury against the Oklahoma Sooners Wednesday night and had a groove going to start.

While a strong first half from multiple players in expanded roles and a strong bench performance helped Iowa State, it would be Oklahoma who would walk away with the victory Wednesday night.

Oklahoma took down Iowa State 90-61, dropping Iowa State to 3-8 in Big 12 play. 

As if Tyrese Haliburton sitting on the bench in a bright-red Iowa State polo and his newly fitted cast wasn’t obvious enough, Iowa State was missing its star point guard and it showed early against the Sooners.

After opening the game 2-9 from the field with six minutes gone by, the Cyclones were in need of an answer on offense to make up for Haliburton’s absence.

But as time went on in the first half, an answer seemed to emerge in unlikely faces. 

The combination of Prentiss Nixon, Caleb Grill and Terrence Lewis would spark Iowa State to shoot a highly efficient 50% (14-28) from the field in the first half and 46% (6-13) from deep.

Lewis kicked off what would end up being three straight three-point makes by the Cyclones. Grill would follow up Lewis and then Nixon would hit a three of his own to cut the Sooner lead to two points. The contributions from the bench showed in the box score, as Iowa State held a 15-3 edge in bench points over Oklahoma in the first half.

The Cyclones’ bench outscored the Sooners 31-14 in the loss.

The offensive success would take a brief hiatus to open the second half. The Cyclones started with three straight turnovers, giving Oklahoma an 46-36 advantage.

It would be all Sooners for the rest of the second half, as Oklahoma took advantage of Iowa State’s 15 turnovers in the game, with six coming in the second half.

Despite the blowout loss, Lewis took over for the Cyclones on offense. The junior scored a career-high 17 points. Lewis connected on 7-9 of his shots, including 3-5 from three.

Nixon would finish with 10 points of his own, while shooting a lowly 4-13 from the field.

Nixon would get the start in place of Haliburton, playing 20 minutes in the first half with eight points at the break along with five assists and three turnovers. Nixon would play a total of 40 minutes, the most of any Cyclone.

Rasir Bolton ended with six points in his 18 minutes of action, after leading the Cyclones with 23 points the last time the Cyclones faced the Sooners on Jan. 11.

Iowa State returns to Ames on Saturday to take on the Texas Longhorns at 1 p.m.