Texas entered the contest with a flimsy offense and a propensity for shutting down opponents beyond the arc. But for much of the game, that script was flipped, with the Longhorns struggling to contain the Cyclones distance shooters, while Texas was only kept in the game by an offense that looked much better than the one that struggled last game against West Virginia.
In fact, the Longhorns were shooting a respectable 44.2 percent from the field when Ioannis Papapetrou nailed a jumper to bring Texas to within seven at 65-58 with 7:20 left. But then Iowa State point guard Korie Lucious found Will Clyburn for a big three-pointer, and after a Texas turnover, Clyburn hit Chris Babb for another three. Just like that, the lead was 13, and Texas was never within single digits again.
That was nearly a repeat scenario from when the Longhorns pulled to within six with 11:25 left on a Julien Lewis jumper. Tyrus McGee hit a three-pointer, then DeMarcus Holland fouled McGee on a three-point shot. McGee hit all three free throws, and the Cyclones had more breathing room.
While the Cyclones were pouring it on, closing with a 17-4 run after Papapetrou's shot, the Longhorns closed on one of their patented offensive cold streaks, making just one of their final nine shots from the field and committing three turnovers.
But the main story was Iowa State's ability to drain the long ball. The Cyclones made 42.3 percent of their three-point attempts in canning 11 threes. And while McGee continued his hot run of shooting, it's worth noting that those 11 made shots came from five different shooters. Several of those came after Texas turnovers, as the Cyclones turned 11 overall Texas turnovers — not a bad total — into 23 Iowa State points.
Freshman Georges Niang had the Cyclones' highest-scoring day, pouring in 18 points, though Clyburn had 16 points and nine rebounds, and McGee's shooting allowed him to score 15 points — 4-of-8 from three and the three free throws from the fouled three-point attempt — in just 17 minutes. Lucious had 10 points and nine assists, while Melvin Ejim did the dirty work, scoring seven points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking two shots.
The Longhorns had been looking for more consistency from their frontcourt, especially offensively, and got it with 15 points and nine rebounds from Jonathan Holmes and 13 points and seven boards from Papapetrou. Lewis also had 15 points, while Javan Felix didn't have a turnover for the first game in his Texas career, dishing out four assists.
Sheldon McClellan, Texas's leading scorer entering the Iowa State game, only played one minute, with Texas coach Rick Barnes stating afterward that he was trying to send a message to his team that everyone needed to put in more effort.
Iowa State (11-4, 1-1) grabbed its first Big 12 win, while Texas (8-8, 0-3) is off to its worst conference start in the Barnes era.
The Longhorns have a week off, then will host Kansas next Saturday.