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No. 14 Cyclones’ trip down south continues against offensive-driven Texas

Keshon+Gilbert+embraces+the+contact+while+driving+to+the+hoop+against+Houston+at+Hilton+Coliseum+on+Jan.+9%2C+2023.
Tyler Coe
Keshon Gilbert embraces the contact while driving to the hoop against Houston at Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 9, 2023.

No. 14 Iowa State looks to grab its first win in Austin, Texas, since 2015 against the Longhorns who are also looking to set themselves apart from other Big 12 contenders.

The Cyclones have a quick turnaround after dropping a 70-68 loss to now No. 13 Baylor, but they will not have time to travel back to Ames. Less than 36 hours removed from a dramatic loss against the Bears, Iowa State will take on Texas for the first and only time this season.

For the Cyclones to avoid dropping a second conference game in a row, they will need to correct the mistakes that cost them in their close game in Waco, Texas.

The first area Iowa State will need to adjust to is its defense around the arc. The Cyclones allowed Baylor to shoot 52% from deep, a team that in conference play has shot less than 35% from 3-point land.

The Longhorns are shooting 39% from 3-point territory, and although Iowa State has tended to let players shoot and focus on defending down low, those same efforts are what has cost it in all of the conference losses on the road.

Outside of adjusting its defensive scheme, Iowa State will also need to focus on getting the offense going the same way it does at home. In their Big 12 road losses, one common factor is that the Cyclones have failed to get into a rhythm out of the gate, which has caught them playing from behind.

Luckily for Iowa State, Texas has recently had rough starts out of the gate, whether it has played on the road or at home. In three of their last four games, the Longhorns have been outscored in the first half.

However, outside of some close opening halves, scoring has not been much of a problem for Texas.

Despite sitting around the middle of the conference in points per game (72.9), the Longhorns host two of the top six scorers in the Big 12. Max Abmas and Dylan Disu have averaged a combined 35.9 points per game, with a combined shooting average of 47%.

Abmas is also fourth in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage with a 41% average in the Longhorns’ nine conference games.

Both Iowa State and Texas enter the matchup 3-2 in the last five games this season, all but one have been against ranked teams so it is safe to say that both teams have been tested as of late in a stacked Big 12 conference.

In the first two years of the T.J. Otzelberger era, Iowa State has split its season series with Texas, with each win coming at Hilton Coliseum. When playing at home the last two seasons, the Cyclones have averaged 78.5 points, but when playing in the Moody Center they have averaged 47.5 points.

The matchup between Iowa State and Texas will tip off at 7 p.m. Tuesday and will be broadcast on Longhorn Network, which can be streamed through ESPN+.

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