Takeaways: Time is running out for Iowa State to win in conference

Tyler Harris handles the ball against Texas on March 2 at Hilton Coliseum.

Zane Douglas

The Cyclones got closer to the worst possible scenario Thursday when they lost another conference game, making them 0-17 in the Big 12 and leaving just one more chance to pick up a conference win.

Luckily for the Cyclones, Iowa State gets to play the ninth place team next in the 10-team Big 12 — the Kansas State Wildcats.

The game against the Red Raiders however didn’t leave a lot of positives for the Cyclones to look for in the final game.

Chances are dwindling

At the start of conference play, Iowa State was 2-2, with losses to then-No. 3 Iowa and South Dakota State.

The loss of Tyrese Haliburton to the NBA hurt the Cyclones more than they could’ve known. A 2-2 record wasn’t amazing, but little did Iowa State know that the win against Jackson State on Dec. 20 would be its last for quite awhile.

The streak is still going since then, with Iowa State losing 16 straight games, including 15 conference games in that time.

Iowa State has had its fair share of close calls and has lost eight conference games by single-digit margins.

After losing to Texas in its final home game, the last two games being away didn’t help the Cyclones out either as they haven’t won an away game since 2019.

That showed against Texas Tech in an 81-54 rout Thursday.

More shots doesn’t help

A positive for the Cyclones against Texas Tech on Thursday came in the form of shot attempts.

Iowa State forced 14 turnovers and grabbed 10 offensive rebounds against the Red Raiders.

This did not help the Cyclones.

Not only did Texas Tech shoot a blistering 61.7 percent on 29-47 shooting, but the Cyclones had one of their worst offensive games of the year, going 18-58 from the field for a paltry 31.0 percent.

This made Iowa State’s 11 more shot attempts not mean much. The Cyclones just couldn’t keep up with the Red Raiders.

Iowa State was also able to get to the free-throw line 10 times and it cashed in on all its opportunities, but that was also wiped out by Texas Tech. The Red Raiders made it to the line 25 times, sinking 18 of those 25 attempts at the charity stripe.

Minute-getters are stifled

Iowa State’s inefficiencies ran deep Thursday, and among the three top players in terms of minutes Thursday for the Cyclones, it was just as bad.

Tyler Harris, Jalen Coleman-Lands and Javan Johnson were the only three Cyclones to earn over 30 minutes Thursday, with all of them playing 36 minutes or more.

Of them, the most efficient was Harris, who shot just 5-14 from the floor and 3-10 from 3-point range. He tied Coleman-Lands for the team lead in scoring with 15. Coleman-Lands was less efficient, going just 4-13 from the floor, but he cashed in on three of his seven 3-point tries.

Johnson went 3-12 and 1-5 from three, which bagged him only seven points in the loss.

Tre Jackson, Dudley Blackwell, Darlinstone Dubar and Jaden Walker rotated out on the floor as nonpost options with Harris, Coleman-Lands and Johnson, but the four rotation pieces scored only three points and went a combined 1-9.