Texas Ends Losing Skid by Beating Iowa State 62-55

Texas' J'Covan Brown (14) drives as Iowa State's Royce White, left, defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


By James Steward

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Freshman Myck Kabongo scored 13 points and Texas ended a three-game losing streak with a 62-55 win over Iowa State on Tuesday night.

J'Covan Brown added 12 points for the Longhorns (13-7, 3-4 Big 12) on an otherwise poor shooting night for Texas' leading scorer. Julien Lewis also scored 12 for Texas.

Iowa State, the Big 12 leader in 3-pointers, had a miserable shooting night, going 5 of 21 from long range and 33 percent from the floor overall. Two of the 3-pointers came in the final minute, when Chris Allen and Chris Babb connected to pull Iowa State within 58-55 before free throws by Brown and a layup by Kabongo ended the rally.

Royce White led the Cyclones (14-6, 4-3) with 15 points.

With a lineup dominated by freshmen, Texas expected growing pains this season, but the Longhorns were off to their worst start in Big 12 play in 14 years. Desperate for a win, the Longhorns finally got one despite nearly blowing a big lead at the end.

Texas led by 18 in the second half, but a long scoreless stretch allowed the Cyclones to trim the lead to three and turn what looked like a comfortable victory into nervous one. The Longhorns didn't seal the game until Brown's two free throws with 21 seconds left and Kabongo's steal and fast-break layup moments later.

The Longhorns grabbed the lead in the first half despite poor shooting by Brown, who was 0 for 9 from the floor and managed only a single free throw. Defensively, Texas was content to watch the Cyclones repeatedly misfire on 3-pointers.

The Cyclones beat Texas in Ames in the conference opener but couldn't muster anything to duplicate that.

White scored 11 in the first half but got little scoring help from the rest of the Cyclones. Texas used a 15-2 run to take the lead in the first half and went up 28-22 with 1 second left when Clint Chapman put back a miss by Brown on the final play.

Brown, who averaged 26 points in the three-game skid, briefly found his stroke early in the second half with consecutive 3-pointers from the corners that put Texas up 36-24.

The baskets finally roused a home crowd that had been quiet, and Kabongo followed them with another 3-pointer as Texas built the lead to 42-26.

White's scoring all but disappeared in the second half. He missed the rim on a free throw, was called for a violation when he began his shooting motion on another but stopped before letting it go, and then launched an air ball on a 3-pointer.

The game was on the verge of turning into a blooper reel for Iowa State when Melvin Ejim missed a dunk on a 3-on-1 fast break in which he didn't even get the ball over the rim.

Even with those struggles, the Cyclones managed to slowly trim the Texas lead to 48-42 when Tyrus McGee, fouled on a 3-pointer, made all three free throws with 4:22 left. Texas responded with a long jumper by Sheldon McClellan and another by Kabongo, and the lead seemed safe until the final minute.

IOWA ST. (14-6)

Ejim 4-9 4-4 12, White 7-16 1-7 15, Babb 3-8 0-0 9, Allen 1-9 0-0 3, Christopherson 1-5 0-0 2, Railey 0-0 0-0 0, Sledge 0-0 0-0 0, Booker 0-2 0-0 0, Gibson 3-6 0-0 6, McGee 1-5 5-5 8. Totals 20-60 10-16 55.

TEXAS (13-7)

Wangmene 0-2 2-2 2, Chapman 4-7 0-1 8, Lewis 4-9 4-6 12, Kabongo 6-9 0-1 13, Brown 3-16 4-5 12, McClellan 2-4 1-2 5, Bond 2-3 0-1 4, Holmes 2-4 0-0 4, Gibbs 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 24-55 11-18 62.

Halftime_Texas 28-22. 3-Point Goals_Iowa St. 5-21 (Babb 3-8, McGee 1-4, Allen 1-5, White 0-1, Ejim 0-1, Booker 0-2), Texas 3-14 (Brown 2-7, Kabongo 1-4, McClellan 0-1, Lewis 0-2). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Iowa St. 34 (White 15), Texas 41 (Bond, Lewis 7). Assists_Iowa St. 9 (White 5), Texas 10 (Brown 3). Total Fouls_Iowa St. 18, Texas 13. A_10,117.
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