No. 17 Iowa State beats No. 19 Texas 85-76

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 18, 2014 at 8:59 pm •  Published: February 18, 2014
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AMES, Iowa (AP) — With the NCAA tournament just about a month away, teams are going to lean on their stars more than ever.

Iowa State standouts Melvin Ejim, DeAndre Kane and Georges Niang showed why the Cyclones could be in great shape come March.

Ejim scored 25 points, DeAndre Kane added 22 and Niang had 20 to help No. 17 Iowa State beat 19th-ranked Texas 85-76 on Tuesday night for its fifth victory in six games.

The trio shot 57 percent from the floor to lead the Cyclones (20-5, 8-5 Big 12), who became the third-fastest team to 20 wins in school history.

"It's obviously important that your key guys are playing well for you," Hoiberg said. "Even though those guys all scored over 20, I think it was a total team effort."

Iowa State outscored Texas 25-12 late in the second half to pull away and move within a game of the second-place Longhorns in the Big 12.

The Cyclones were keyed by Ejim, who had his second-best scoring game of the season, while Kane chipped in with five assists and zero turnovers and Niang helped keep Cameron Ridley without a field goal.

Isaiah Taylor had 26 points to lead the Longhorns (20-6, 9-4), who've followed up a seven-game winning streak by splitting their last four.

"They didn't do one thing that we didn't think they'd do. We weren't tough enough to guard it, stop it," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We didn't come in with a tough enough mindset to start the game."

But even though Texas shot just 33 percent from the floor, it still hit some big shots in the second half.

The Longhorns could barely miss from the line either.

Javan Felix hit a 3 to match a crowd-energizing one from Matt Thomas, and Connor Lammert did as well with Iowa State on the verge of going ahead by double digits with 8:08 left.

Texas also hit its first 16 free throws and 23 of 25 overall to hang close. But Jonathan Holmes finally missed with 6:26 left, and Niang's ensuing putback gave Iowa State a 75-65 lead.

Felix had 16 points, but he needed 22 shots to get there.

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