Feb 6, 2024; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Tyrese Hunter (4) focuses in on Iowa State Cyclones guard Tamin Lipsey (3) as he guards him during the game against Iowa State at Moody Center. Mandatory Credit: Mikala Compton-USA TODAY Sports
AMES — Tamin Lipsey swung his arms for steals, then set his feet for some key shots.
The Iowa State sophomore point guard made an array of big plays down the stretch Tuesday night as the No. 14 Cyclones handled Texas, 70-65, Tuesday in Austin.
“It’s a totally different feeling winning on the road,” Lipsey said after the game on the Cyclone Radio Network. “To come down and play at a different place and be able to beat that team on their home court, it means a lot to the team and the coaches. It’s a great feeling.”
The Cyclones led by double-digits for most of the game, but couldn’t prevent a Longhorns comeback that created a one-possession game late.
Texas forward Dylan Disu completed a personal 7-0 run late in the game to make the score 57-49 with 6:20 left, but Lipsey drained a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to help keep the Longhorns at bay.
Texas drew within three, at 66-63, on Max Abmas’s layup with 41 seconds left, but a dunk by Cyclone forward Tre King helped cement the win.
“I loved how we came out,” ISU head coach T.J. Otzelberger said after the game. “Loved the first half. Loved our defensive intent. We talk about it all the time. We’re not just getting stops. We’re building confidence. Our connectedness on defense translates to the offense.”
Freshman forward Milan Momcilovic led ISU (17-5, 6-3 Big 12) with 13 points and Lipsey added 12. Each of the Cyclones who played scored at least one basket, but several ISU players struggled to shoot a good percentage from the field, including guard Keshon Gilbert (2-for-8) and forward Robert Jones (3-for-11).
Lipsey and Gilbert helped wallpaper over those missed shots by rebounding at a high rate. Both grabbed seven rebounds — and five of those came on the offensive end to help create second-chance opportunities as ISU remained near the top of the Big 12 standings.
“I felt like our guys had the poise and command, especially as we needed to late,” Otzelberger said.
The Cyclones outscored Texas in points off of turnovers by 18-6, and poked away 10 steals to the Longhorns’ 4.
“(We were) just trying to realize things we could have done better in the (recent) Baylor (loss),” said Lipsey, who snared four of his team’s steals. “And really take our aggression out on Texas. So we came out ready to play from the start and it’s all about being together as a a team. That’s who’s gonna win those close games.”
The Cyclones are now one-half game out of first place in the Big 12 standings — and they own a win over Houston, the team that’s out in front (for now).
ISU will try to sweep No. 25 TCU at home on Saturday before continuing its in-conference gauntlet down the road.
“It’s a great opportunity this Saturday, excited to come back home after this trip,” Otzelberger said. “We know we’re gonna have a tremendous crowd. It’s a huge game, huge opportunity. We’re excited to get back to Hilton and go get one for our fans.”