For the first time this season, Texas Tech faced a halftime deficit and couldn’t take the lead in the second half as Iowa State left Lubbock with a 68-64 victory on Wednesday night.
The book on the Cyclones coming into the game was that they were one of the best offensive teams in the Big 12, if not the best. But that didn’t translate to Iowa State pushing the ball at every opportunity and taking shots early in the shot clock.
On the contrary, the Cyclones were patient on the offensive end, especially in the second half. Iowa State used most of the shot clock on a regular basis and got good shots.
And then, when the Red Raiders pulled even at 61, Iowa State scored on back-to-back trips down the floor to retake a four-point lead. Cyclones guard Nick Weiler-Babb and Lindell Wigginton made a jumper and a layup respectively, allowing Iowa State to fend off the Red Raiders’ comeback.
Texas Tech coach Chris Beard makes a point of pointing out, if not embellishing opponent’s strengths going into each game. But what he said about the Cyclones after Wednesday’s game had plenty of proof behind it.
On the Red Raiders’ first failure to come back in the second half this season:
“Those games weren’t against Iowa State with three players who can control the ball,” Beard said. “No disrespect to those other coaches and players, but an eight-point deficit against Iowa State is a little bit more than other people because of the way Coach (Steve) Prohm controls the shot clock.”
The Big 12 isn’t exactly a copycat league, so it’s unlikely other teams will try to milk the shot clock in order to offset the Red Raiders’ intense defense.
But for immediate purposes, will Baylor be able to be patient and work for good shots the way the Cyclones did when Texas Tech faces the Bears on Saturday?
Of course, on the other end of the floor, the Red Raiders helped the Cyclones on Wednesday with turnovers, poor shot choices and a struggle to finish at the basket.
Texas Tech needs secondary and tertiary scorers to complement Jarrett Culver. That’s how the Red Raider defeated Texas on Saturday as guard Matt Mooney scored a season-high 22 points.