116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Texas Tech’s Terrence Shannon Jr. confidently turned as his long-range shot dropped, then smiled and swept down his arm to flash three digits.
It was that kind of night for Shannon and the No. 14 Red Raiders, who beat up and breezed past beleaguered Iowa State, 72-41, late Thursday in a Big 12 men’s basketball tournament quarterfinal at the T-Mobile Center.
“Once we got the lead, we kept our foot on the gas,” said Shannon, who scored a game-high 15 points.
Texas Tech (24-8) used an early 8-0 run to build a 13-5 lead with 14:21 left in the first half, then did precisely what Shannon described.
The Cyclones (20-12) had more turnovers (20) than made field goals (15) and trailed 39-20 at the break. They’ve lost three straight games and sloppy play on both ends of the floor is the primary reason why.
“Unacceptable effort,” ISU head coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “We’ve just got to be better.”
Remarkably, it could have been worse.
Red Raiders guard Adonis Arms sank a half-court shot as the first-half horn blared, but the basket was waived off after an officials’ review.
It didn’t matter.
The Cyclones turned it over on consecutive possessions to start the second half and trailed by a minimum of 27 points in the final 14:05.
Texas Tech outscored ISU 42-14 in points in the paint and didn’t allow a single Cyclone to score in double digits.
“Texas Tech — I’m pretty sure they’re known for their defense,” said ISU point guard Tyrese Hunter, who scored a team-high nine points. “That’s how they came out and played. We’ve got to find our way through that. We’ve seen them a couple of times. Give them credit, but we’ve got to find a way through that.”
The Red Raiders outscored the Cyclones 23-0 in fast-break points and 20-7 in points off turnovers. They also held star guard Izaiah Brockington to just seven points on 3-for-16 shooting and made getting — let alone making — shots nearly impossible.
“Their depth and their size certainly is a factor,” Otzelberger said. “On the interior, they have a lot of big bodies, they have depth, they keep throwing bodies at you. We’ve got to play with an unbelievable competitive spirit to offset some of the things we don’t have in terms of size and physical play (and) they scored 42 points in the paint. That’s not acceptable. There’s no simple solution to it. We’ve just got to play really hard, we’ve got to pressure the basketball and we’ve got to be the aggressor. Felt like we came out tonight on our heels. That’s not going to be a recipe of success for us.”
Now the Cyclones will sit and wait to learn their NCAA Tournament fate. All leading prognosticators have ISU squarely in the field for the first time in three seasons largely because of their nine Quad 1 wins. It’s a solid resume — despite what happened Thursday — and Otzelberger touted his team’s resolve in making the biggest turnaround in program history.
“Last year at this time our team had two wins,” said the Cyclones’ first-year head coach. “This year we have 20. There is a sense of pride in what we’re building, what we have done, how these guys have embraced habits. … They have showed work ethic, they have showed habits (and) character, and based on where we were a year ago, these guys deserve a lot of credit.”