Ames, IA — Izaiah Brockington always seems to have a flair for late game heroics, his four-point play with 1:52 left in the game helped No. 11 Iowa State beat No. 25 Texas Tech 51-47 on Wednesday night.
Texas Tech kept on fighting until the buzzer sounded off, holding the Cyclones to 3 of 19 (15.8 percent) from the hardwood in the second half. The Cyclones shot 30.6 percent from the floor and 28 percent from downtown in the game with 18 turnovers.
The first half almost got away from the Red Raiders, which ended with 15 turnovers, but held up by tough defense on the perimeter.
“We felt like at halftime, we couldn’t play a lot worse. We just said, ‘Hey, we can win this game.’ These guys felt in their hearts that they could do that. They played to the very end there and got a couple of tough calls there. Really proud of our defense and overall effort. Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said.”
Missing its top two scorers, and a few of others that equaled to seven total scholarship players, Texas Tech just ran out of gas in the second half.
“We were a team, even though there were seven of us,”Clarence Nadolny said after finishing the contest with nine points in 36 minutes — a career-high. “The guys were motivated and we wanted to win this game.
Nadolny defended the perimeter hard and rebounded , earning himself a bloody nose following a missed free throw, and almost recorded the dunk of the year against the Cyclones. He led all scorers at the break with five points.
Brockington’s fall-away 3-pointer came moments after Texas Tech took a 42-40 lead. The Cyclones guard was knocked off balance, but his clutch shot swished through.
With the loss, the Red Raiders (10-3, 0-1) suffered its first conference loss while the Cyclones (13-1, 1-1) bounced back and improved to .500 in league play.
“I was really pleased proud of the way our guys came out and performed,” Adams said. “Obviously didn’t shoot the ball very well and missed some key free throws. But the effort was outstanding.
The game came down to the final two minutes of the game.
Nadolny jumped started things off with a steal that led to an assist to Marcus Santos-Silva who completed a fastbreak with a one-handed poster dunk to put Texas Tech up 42-40, the Red Raiders first lead of the contest — with 2:18 left in the contest.
A few seconds later, Brockington was fouled taking a three-point shot by Kevin Obanor. Brockington, who was falling back, made the shot and made the free throw. With the made free throw, it gave the Cyclones a 44-42 lead with 1:52 to play in the contest.
Iowa State, which held a 13-point lead in the first half, salted away the victory.
“We came in shorthanded, but we didn’t want to look at it as a disadvantage,” said Texas Tech’s Bryson Williams, who finished with 10 points and three rebounds. “We knew the type of fight we were coming into. We knew how tough they were because their only loss was to Baylor — the No. 1 team in the country.
“We knew we had to come in with grit regardless. We just didn’t come out with the outcome we wanted.”
Iowa State hit just one of their first 16 shots after halftime.
”We’ve got to do better playing at our pace on offense,” Brockington said, ”but that’s a good team. That’s a great defense.”
Texas Tech continues a rugged league stretch with a home game Saturday against No. 6 Kansas followed by a trip to No. 1 Baylor on Jan. 11.
Iowa State plays its first Big 12 road game Saturday at Oklahoma.