Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State makes clutch plays to hold off Texas

Cyclones work through poor shooting for 65-60 win

Iowa State's Nick Weiler-Babb shoots over Texas' Matt Coleman III in Saturday's game at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. (Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports)
Iowa State's Nick Weiler-Babb shoots over Texas' Matt Coleman III in Saturday's game at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. (Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports)

AMES — Iowa State men’s basketball coach Steve Prohm doesn’t want his team to live in peaks and valleys.

That message rung true Saturday afternoon at Hilton Coliseum.

Marial Shayok, Lindell Wigginton and Nick Weiler-Babb all struggled from the floor, but each one of them stayed confident and hit clutch shots that allowed No. 20 Iowa State to close out a win against Texas, 65-60.

“We kept challenging (our team),” Prohm said. “We were really in the same position two weeks ago (against Kansas State) and weren’t able to finish. I thought our focus was better, the electricity in the building was phenomenal. Sometimes two plays can flip a game.”

Those two plays came courtesy of Weiler-Babb and Lindell Wigginton on back-to-back possessions.

The Cyclones were down 48-45 with 5:16 left. Weiler-Babb drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game, Iowa State got a stop on the defensive end and Wigginton converted a four-point play. Wigginton finished with five points on 1-for-3 shooting and four rebounds.

Texas stayed in the game and Iowa State was up one with 1:28 left in the game. Weiler-Babb and Shayok were the combo to officially put the game away.

Weiler-Babb drove to the basket with a minute left and kissed a 7-footer off the backboard. Weiler-Babb finished with 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting and seven rebounds.

The next play, Shayok who was 2 of 13 from the floor to that point, put the icing on the cake for the Cyclones.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

The senior hit a mid-range jumper near the free-throw line. After Texas made two free throws to bring the game within three, Shayok hit two free throws of his own to ice the game away.

“Shayok didn’t have his best game, but when the game was at its biggest moment, he made the big play to put us up five,” Prohm said. “He’s earned the right to take that shot and make that shot.”

Shayok finished with 12 points on 3-for-14 shooting.

“My teammates and coaches told me to keep shooting and not to worry about it. It was just one of those days for me. Obviously, I was frustrated, but I had to keep going to win the game.”

Making those clutch shots felt a little like redemption for Shayok.

“It helps for sure,” Shayok said. “I’m probably going to get in the gym (Sunday) morning and get some more shots up. I’ll be fine, it happens. Something to move on from.”

Those big plays helped Iowa State move to 17-5 overall and 6-3 in the Big 12. Meanwhile, Texas dropped to 12-10 overall and 4-5 in the Big 12.

As a team, Iowa State struggled from the floor, shooting just 43 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range.

The only player to shoot above 50 percent was Cam Lard, who had 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting off the bench.

Talen Horton-Tucker scored a game-high 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting. He also had six rebounds and three steals to go along with his scoring.

While the Cyclones had an off night offensively, Horton-Tucker is not concerned.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

“Shots weren’t really falling for us,” Horton-Tucker said. “I don’t think anybody can stop us, they might rattle us, but it was just that the shots weren’t falling.”

l Comments: benv43@gmail.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.