Cyclones thump Texas
By ROB GRAY
AMES — It’s been a disappointing season for Iowa State and its three seniors.
Two — forward Michael Jacobson and guard Prentiss Nixon — are transfers.
One, forward Solomon Young, has battled injuries his entire career.
But Saturday afternoon, the Cyclones’ most experienced trio of players shined, combining for 55 points in an 81-52 rout of struggling Texas.
“We needed this,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said after his team recorded its most lopsided win over the Longhorns in series history. “We had a lot of guys step up and do some really good things.”
None more than Jacobson, who notched season highs in points (21) and rebounds (13) while shooting 8 for 9 from the field. The 6-9 senior from nearby Waukee, Iowa, also matched a season high with three assists.
The Cyclones (11-14, 4-8 Big 12) never trailed and started the second half with a 9-0 run that built a commanding 46-26 lead.
“It’s do or die mentality for us every game,” Jacobson said. “We’ve got to stack up some wins. We just came ready. We just came together. That’s the biggest thing all year for us, just trying to find consistency. We’ve got some pieces, we’ve got some talent, we just haven’t been able to put it together on a nightly basis. Just being able to get it working together was a lot of fun.”
Texas (14-11, 4-8) played without starters Jericho Sims (back) and Jase Febres (knee), and lost its fourth straight game.
Courtney Ramey scored a season-high 21 points to lead the Longhorns, which fell behind by double-digits with 9:01 left in the first half and couldn’t counter Iowa State’s hot shooting or 30-18 edge in points in the paint.
Texas shot a season-low 29% from the field, while the Cyclones shot a conference season-best 57%.
“I thought we’d come in here and play with really, really good defensive energy,” Longhorns coach Shaka Smart said. “We did not do that. I thought we’d understand, with Jericho out, that they would try to go inside and counteract them there. We didn’t do that either. Jacobson and Young were terrific for Iowa State.”
The absence of Sims was a key reason why, but doesn’t fully explain how the Cyclones were able to efficiently attack inside all day.
Jacobson and Young were a combined 12 of 15 on 2-point field goals.
“Like Mike said, do or die,” Nixon said. “We step out every game like we did tonight, I like our chances going forward.”
Texas: The ailing Longhorns sorely lacked an inside presence when Sims, the team’s leading rebounder at 8.2 boards per game, couldn’t play because of lingering back issues. The 6-9 junior had started every game this season. Texas lost for the seventh time in the past nine games.
Iowa State: The Cyclones are the Big 12’s only team without a road win this season, but they’ve won four of their past five games at Hilton Coliseum — the lone loss coming to top-ranked Baylor. Iowa State made 10 of its first 14 shots Saturday and outrebounded Texas, 40-27.
Nixon scored in double figures for the second straight game after failing to score 10 or more points in the previous 10. He scored the most points (17) in his Iowa State career and went a season-best 6 of 7 from the free-throw line.
Texas: The Longhorns host TCU on Wednesday.
Iowa State: The Cyclones play at No. 3 Kansas on Monday.