AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas coach Shaka Smart insists his players maintain an acceptable level of spirit and a strong attitude while enduring adversity.
So how did the Longhorns respond when Iowa State erased a 13-point second-half deficit to send the game to overtime Tuesday night?
They came out confidently and aggressively in the overtime, defeating the 17th-ranked Cyclones 94-91.
Isaiah Taylor scored 28 points, including five in overtime, elevating a Texas team that suffered a tough one-point loss at TCU on Saturday.
“Our guys didn’t drop their heads,” said Smart, who was especially concerned about Taylor, his best player.
“He really got bummed out in the TCU game,” Smart said.
Taylor, who had six assists against one turnover on Tuesday, said he paid attention to Smart.
“I did get down on myself too much at TCU,” Taylor said. “But (Smart) really just focuses on response. That’s what me and my team did today.”
Tevin Mack and Eric Davis scored 14 points each for the Longhorns, and Javan Felix added 13. Texas made 13 3-pointers in the game.
Georges Niang led Iowa State with 27 points, including 19 after halftime, but he missed a guarded 3-point attempt as the game ended. Monte Morris scored 17 points for the Cyclones and Deonte Burton had 14.
Niang picked up his third foul with 16:10 remaining. He left the game with Iowa State (12-4, 1-3 Big 12) trailing by 10 points. When he returned less than 3 minutes later, the Cyclones were down by 13. He scored nine points in the next 6 minutes to rally Iowa State, and when Morris and Abdel Nader made consecutive baskets, they found themselves tied at 79 with 4 minutes remaining.
Taylor and Connor Lammert responded with 3-pointers for Texas (10-6, 2-2), but Niang scored four points, and Morris added two, and the score was tied again, this time with 1:09 left.
Taylor made a spinning shot with his off hand, the left, with 37 seconds left, but Niang matched it 9 seconds later, and the game went to overtime.
The Longhorns finished the first half with a 16-2 run to take a 49-38 lead. They converted 9 of 18 3-point attempts in the half with Mack making three, including two during the final 1:38.
Texas converted three Iowa State turnovers into layups during that run. Taylor made two of the layups, both on fast breaks, and scored 14 points in the half.
The Longhorns’ aggression during that push produced a passion on which they retrieved three missed shots before Kendal Yancy finally hit with their fourth attempt, a 3-pointer.
“Their run hit us pretty hard,” Niang said. “They shot the leather off the ball.”
Iowa State: The Cyclones had a four-game winning streak against Texas snapped. Forward Jameel McKay made five dunks in the first half, taking advantage of the Longhorns’ inability to prevent Cyclones guards from penetrating the lane and passing to him. He made one more dunk in the second half.
Texas: Forward/guard Jordan Barnett, a sophomore who has played in only four games this season, will transfer to another school, a team spokesman said. Barnett did not indicate where he will land on the rebound. With Barnett gone, and starting center Cameron Ridley out indefinitely with a broken foot, the Longhorns have 10 scholarships.
FINALLY, LONG DISTANCE CONNECTION
The Longhorns converted a tidy 38 percent from 3-point range in their first 11 games. Then Ridley broke his foot. Ridley doesn’t shoot from distance, but he does occupy defenders inside. In their first four games without Ridley, Texas hit 25 percent. But they made 9 of 15 against Iowa State.
Iowa State: Hosts Kansas State on Saturday.
Texas: Hosts Oklahoma State on Saturday