Austin, TX – Coming off their best shooting performance of the season form behind-the-arc, the Texas Longhorns were able to top their previous mark on Saturday afternoon shooting 60 percent (15-of-25) leading to a 86-69 over the Iowa State Cyclones. For the conference leader in three-point attempts, this was the first time this season that the Longhorns have converted on 50 percent of their three-point attempts in consecutive games. Since the loss of Kerwin Roach, the Longhorns have stepped up their offensive game averaging 79 points per game and shooting 49 percent from behind the three-point line over the three games.
Both teams struggled to find any rhythm offensively to start Saturday’s game shooting a combined 2-for-10 from three point range with eight turnovers through 12 minutes. The Longhorn offense came alive in the latter portion of the half spear-headed by four made three pointers by sophomore guard Jase Febres. Texas closed the half on a 15-3 scoring run during which they held the Cyclones without a field goal for over six minutes. Iowa State’s only first half advantage was their aggressiveness on the offensive glass scoring nine second change points.
Texas started off the second half much like they ended the first, knocking down two quick three pointers in the first 90 seconds of play. The barrage of shooting from long range would continue throughout the half for the Longhorns scoring another nine baskets. The 35th ranked Cyclone defense had no answer for Texas’ shooting allowing the most three-point makes and highest three point shooting percentage of any game this season.
As good as Texas looked offensively, the Cyclones struggled the entire game to find any footing on that end of the court. Statistically the team’s worst shooting performance of the season (35.3 percent), Iowa State continually forced shots over and around the length of the Longhorns defenders. Despite Texas’ size advantage, the Cyclones won the rebounding battle and accumulated more points inside the paint.
With a career best performance in both scoring (26 points) and three-point makes (8), Texas guard Febres has proven to be one of the most dangerous shooters in the Big 12 Conference. He is a confident shooter in catch-and-shoot scenarios and moves well off the ball, especially along the baseline. Febres is also willing to do the dirty work defensively, drawing charges and hustling for loose balls. He is an average on-ball defender who can get caught leaning by athletic, quicker guards.
Marial Shayok once again led the Cyclones in points on Saturday afternoon scoring 22 points on 14 shot attempts. The star guard is an efficient scorer who plays with a high motor. Shayok moves well without the ball and comes off screens as a ready and willing shooter. His strength is an advantage not only when driving through contact, but also when he uses his body defensively. Shayok hasn’t shown the ability to adapt when the action breaks down or he is unable to get by his defender. Fortunately, he is often athletic / skilled enough to get up a quality shot in many of those instances.
Off the bench for the Cyclones, Lindell Wigginton provides a pace and sense of urgency that his guard counterparts don’t provide. A superior athlete at his position, Wigginton plays at a fast tempo that can be both an advantage and disadvantage in certain situations. The height he gets on his jump shot is massive, and his leaping ability/aggressiveness was a huge contributor to him pulling down a game-high eight rebounds. Wigginton has the vision to be a high level interior passer, but needs to learn to control his speed so that passes can be executed through those tight windows.
Texas (16-13) will travel to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech this coming Monday (3/4). Iowa State (20-9) will continue their two-game road trip as they travel east to take on West Virginia (3/6).