By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
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KANSAS CITY — Texas was hungry. Texas was disciplined. With its back against the wall and a potential NCAA Tournament berth on the line, Texas unleashed its fury on Iowa State in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Big 12 Tournament en route to a 71-65 Longhorn victory.
All was well when the Cyclones jumped out to an 11 point lead with 17:13 to go in the game but Texas responded in a big way – a 22-4 run that led to the demise of Iowa State’s tournament championship hopes and on a larger scale, momentum heading into the NCAA Tournament.
"I thought we put our heads down a little bit as a team," said Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg. "Then we regrouped and found a way to get back in the game. But they made big plays down the stretch and we didn’t."
Iowa State turned the basketball over 13 times compared to a season-low of six by the Longhorns. Texas’ 16 offensive rebounds were critical as it kept the Cyclones from doing what they do best, playing in transition.
"They came in minus one of their top rebounders," said Hoiberg. "They still found a way to control the glass. That slowed us down."
J’Covan Brown had a lot to do with that pivotal Texas run. The Big 12’s leading scorer dropped 16 points in the second half and led all scorers with 22 in the game.
Up next for Iowa State is the chore of regrouping and getting ready for its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2005.
"We’ve got some things to correct here," said Hoiberg. "We’ve got one more chance to go out and try to do something, to try to make a run. And I believe this group will do that."
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Royce White – Seventeen points and 10 rebounds equaled White’s 10th double-double of the season.
"It means nothing," White said. "My performance was not good enough, especially when you think about the first five minutes. I came out and turned it over. It just wasn’t good enough."
Bench – Iowa State’s played well, outscoring Texas’ reserves 18-13. When Iowa State’s frontcourt got into serious foul trouble, freshman Percy Gibson stepped up going 4-of-5 from the field and scoring 10 points. Junior Tyrus McGee scored five points with five rebounds as well.
Still playing – Unlike the last seven Big 12 Tournaments, Iowa State knows that it has a spot locked up in the field of 68.
Backcourt – Iowa State’s three starting guards (Scott Christopherson, Chris Babb and Chris Allen) combined to go 7-for-26 from the field. The trio scored 20 of Iowa State’s 65 points while attempted 43 percent of its shots.
Fouls – Melvin Ejim fouled out. White and Tyrus McGee committed four fouls for Iowa State. The Cyclones were called for 21 team fouls to Texas’ 12. As a result, the Longhorns went 18-of-24 from the charity stripe which helped secure the victory.
Turnovers – Iowa State committed twice as many as the Longhorns and Texas capitalized by scoring 19 points off of Cyclone mishaps.