Three Takeaways: Iowa State ends its season against Texas

Iowa State freshman Lindell Wigginton lays the ball in during the second half against Texas. Wigginton had 20 points in the 68-64 loss in the Big 12 Championship.

Brian Mozey

That’s it.

The Iowa State men’s basketball season is over after a 68-64 loss to Texas in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday night.

Even though it was a loss, coach Steve Prohm and the Iowa State team have a bright future ahead with the players that are returning and the recruits adding onto the experienced team.

Here’s the takeaways from the final game in the 2017-18 season.

Fighting until the end

Iowa State has had the tendency to let its opponents take over the second half, which results in losses for the Cyclones over the past few weeks. That mindset changed in the tournament as Iowa State fought until the final horn.

The Cyclones were trailing 34-31 heading into the half and came out in the second half with a handful of turnovers leading Texas to scoring on open layups. Prohm had to call a timeout 59 seconds into the second half because Iowa State wasn’t in sync coming out of the locker room.

In the middle of the second half of the game, Texas had an 8-0 run to break away and have the opportunity to take over the game. Iowa State wouldn’t allow it to happen and fought back to make it a two-point game.

“Probably because we understand it is March. It’s one and done,” said senior guard Donovan Jackson. “They need to understand how to become a team. That’s going to be the challenge.”

Freshmen showcase future talents

When the first half ended, the box score showed that Iowa State had 31 points and 20 points came from a combined effort of three freshmen. Lindell Wigginton led the Cyclones with nine points, then Cameron Lard had six points and Terrence Lewis scored five points.

Since Wigginton and Lard are ranked first and third on Iowa State’s roster in points per game, the expectation is to score points for the Cyclones. Those two finished with 20 and 14 points respectively, but the big question came after the game regarding their future.

Usually after the season, the head coach will submit paperwork to the NBA to learn more information about particular players on their team. Wigginton and Lard are high candidates to have a future in the NBA, but the question of when is the bigger question.

When asked about this topic after tonight’s game, both responded in a similar fashion.

“I don’t know,” Wigginton said.

“No comment,” Lard said.

Lewis finished tonight’s game with only five points, but he’s turned some heads since his minutes have increased. When Nick Weiler-Babb and Solomon Young were shut down with season-ending injuries before the TCU game on Feb. 21, Prohm looked to Lewis to contribute more often.

Lewis had six points against TCU and proceeded to have 12 points in both the West Virginia and Oklahoma State game after the game against the Horned Frogs. His future looks bright in Prohm’s eyes and Lewis’ eyes himself.

“I’m encouraged with [Lewis] going forward,” Prohm said. “It was good he got some minutes down the stretch here and gave him some confidence going into the offseason.”

Solid shooting

If Iowa State would’ve had fewer turnovers and allowed fewer offensive rebounds, the Cyclones could’ve won this game. That wasn’t the case on Wednesday night, but Prohm should be happy with the shooting performance by his team.

The Cyclones went into the first half with a shooting dominance of 52 percent compared to Texas’ 38.9 percent from the field. In the end, Iowa State held onto that lead with 50 percent and the Longhorns finished with a 40.3 percent shooting performance.

A 50 perent shooting night is strong for any team especially for Iowa State and that will be the goal for Prohm and his coaching staff. They need to find ways to continue that consistency for next season and the future of each individual.

“We got to go on spring break and make good decisions,” Prohm said. “Then, we got to get to work.”