Longhorns Back on Winning Track

Texas bounced back in a big way from its first conference loss, beating a typically tough Iowa State team 76-53.

Jordan Hamilton scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds, overcoming a two-game shooting streak by hitting 7-of-14 shots, including 3-of-4 from three-point range and 3-3 from the free throw line.

"I spent some extra time in the gym," Hamilton said afterward. "I wanted to get my shot back."

"I think he is big time," added Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg. "I think he is one of the top players in the country."

Tristan Thompson chipped in 17 points, 14 boards and three blocks.

After spending seven games without trailing, the Longhorns trailed for the second time in as many contests when Diante Garrett hit a three-pointer to put the Cyclones up 9-8. The lead was short-lived, as Texas took the advantage back to stay slightly two minutes later with a pair of Cory Joseph free throws. Still, Texas led just 26-21 before a pair of big possessions for the 'Horns.

First, Gary Johnson hit a three-pointer, just the second of his career. Then, following a Garrett layup, Hamilton hit a three-pointer of his own, converting a four-point play when Melvin Ejim was whistled for hitting the sophomore's hand. Just like that, the Longhorns led 33-23. Texas took a 35-26 lead to the locker room, holding Iowa State scoreless for the final 4:55 of the first half.

The Cyclones trailed despite shooting an identical 12-for-30 (40 percent) from the field, because Iowa State failed to attempt a free throw in the half, while Texas hit 9-of-11 attempts. But Texas ratcheted up the defense in the second half, turning a 42-31 contest into a 69-40 blowout in about eight minutes.

The Cyclones continued to get minimal production from the charity stripe, failing to shoot their first free throw until the 5:19 mark and not hitting their first foul shot until Garrett converted on a pair of freebies with 2:32 left. Iowa State finished just 3-for-8 from the free-throw line, while Texas shot 13-of-21. After the game, Hoiberg conceded that the lack of free throws likely came from Iowa State's over-reliance on its perimeter game, though the Cyclones lost the points in the paint battle by just four points, 34-30.

Gary Johnson added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Longhorns, while Cory Joseph dished out seven assists to zero turnovers, often playing the point as Iowa State sagged off Dogus Balbay.

Garrett paced Iowa State with 16 points and four assists, while he grabbed four rebounds, though he shot just 6-of-19 from the floor. Scott Christopherson had 12 points and five rebounds, while Melvin Ejim had eight points and nine boards. As a team, the Cyclones (14-14, 1-12) shot just 27.8 percent in the second half, as compared to 53.1 percent for the Longhorns (24-4, 12-1).

The Longhorns continue to hold a one-game lead over the Kansas Jayhawks in the Big 12 standings, and will travel to Colorado on Saturday.


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