AMES — Iowa State and Texas were both without their best players Saturday.
Iowa State point guard Tyrese Haliburton is out for the season with a broken wrist and Texas big man Jericho Sims missed the game with a back injury.
The Cyclones were able to successfully expose the Longhorns’ hole while the Longhorns couldn’t do the same to the Cyclones.
Iowa State beat Texas 81-52 at Hilton Coliseum by repeatedly and relentlessly pounding the ball inside.
Solomon Young had eight of Iowa State’s first 10 points and finished with 17 points on 4-of-5 shooting and 9-of-10 shooting from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds and two blocks.
But Michael Jacobson was the star of the show for Iowa State. The senior had the best overall game of his career with 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting and 13 rebounds.
Guard Tre Jackson said Jacobson looked like the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love.
“Not having Sims changes them from the standpoint of they don’t have rim protection,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “The teams in our league that we’re able to establish post play, we’ve done that and we’ve had success and those are games we’ve won.”
The more Iowa State can get the ball inside with Haliburton out, the better.
“We knew it was something we had to do with Tyrese out,” Jacobson said. “It was huge to establish the post and get some easy buckets inside. I thought we did a really good job establishing our presence down low.”
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The Longhorns had no answer for the Cyclones inside — Iowa State outscored Texas 30-18 in the paint — and no answer the Cyclones’ defense either.
Prohm said he made the decision to switch all screens because he was sick of miscommunication and straight-line drives.
The change paid off as Iowa State held Texas to just 29 percent shooting from the field and 25 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The Longhorns didn’t have a single player shoot 50 percent from the field.
Iowa State made sure Texas didn’t get any second-chance points either, out-rebounding the Longhorns 40-27.
“We were consistently good tonight, defensively and we made tough plays,” Prohm said. “We did a great job of staying in front of guys and not bailing them out with fouls and not giving them straight-line drives.”
Iowa State could’ve folded after it got the news that Haliburton would be out for the season. It could’ve folded after it got blown out by 29 to Oklahoma on Wednesday.
But the Cyclones proved they aren’t ready to roll over just yet.
“We knew we had to come ready and at this point in the season it’s a do-or-die mentality for us,” Jacobson said. “We have to try and stack some wins so we came ready. We have talent and we have the pieces we just haven’t always put it together, so today was good.”
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