Allen free throws enable Texas to defeat Iowa State 67-65
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas is the least successful team in the Big 12 at making free throws in conference games, and the Longhorns did not help their accuracy mark on Tuesday night.
But freshman Jarrett Allen made two under pressure with 7.2 seconds left, giving the Longhorns a 67-65 victory over Iowa State.
Allen led Texas with 17 points and collected nine rebounds. Shaq Cleare scored 12 for Texas, and Andrew Jones added 10.
Texas (10-14, 4-7 Big 12) converted only 16 of 27 free throws, 59.3 percent accuracy that is worse than its 67.2 mark coming in.
Allen, fouled after retrieving a missed shot by Jones, is a 60 percent free-throw shooter. Even so, he said, “I knew my teammates had confidence in me. I didn’t want to let them down.”
Matt Thomas, who led Iowa State with 17 points, missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer. Thomas finished 5-for-10 shooting from 3.
The Cyclones’ Deonte Burton scored 13 points, and Naz Mitrou-Long had 12.
Iowa State (14-9, 6-5) trailed the entire game until Burton made a 3-point basket for a 63-all tie with 47 seconds remaining. Burton was wide open after Allen blocked a shot by Darrell Bowie and Monte Morris secured the rebound.
Texas came right back and scored 18 seconds later when Cleare made a layup after Burton blocked a shot by Kerwin Roach Jr. But Cleare, fouled on the play, missed the free throw, and Burton tied it again on a driving shot.
The Cyclones put themselves in danger of getting blown out in the first half. They missed 15 of their first 17 shots, including nine of 10 3-pointers, and trailed 30-13 with less than four minutes remaining.
“There’s no excuse for getting out of the gate the way we did,” Thomas said.
From there, though, Iowa State outscored Texas 16-5, making two 3-pointers, and trailed by a manageable six at the half despite getting outscored 20-4 in the paint.
“When we got a big lead, we got a little bit sloppy on offense,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said.
Even so, the Longhorns, who have four freshman and two sophomores in their rotation, showed enough resolve to win their third straight home game, this one against an opponent that snapped Kansas’ 51-game winning streak at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.
“These guys are growing up real fast,” Cleare said. “And maturing.”
Iowa State: Thomas was back to form Tuesday with his five 3-point baskets. Thomas missed all five of his treys during a win at Kansas on Saturday, snapping a three-game hot streak in which he hit 16 of 22.
Texas: Freshman guard Andrew Jones produced a sustained period of strong performances, averaging 14.9 points, with 49 percent shooting accuracy, and five assists, in seven games before Tuesday. Jones missed nine of 11 shots against Iowa State, but he had nine rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
Texas has made a habit of playing close games at home during Big 12 competition. The Longhorns are 4-2, and none of the games were decided by more than four points. They have won three straight, beating Oklahoma and Texas Tech before Iowa State.
Iowa State hosts Oklahoma on Saturday evening. The Cyclones defeated the Sooners 92-87 on Jan. 21 behind a career-best 31 points by Burton, a senior.
Texas is at Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon. The Longhorns defeated the Cowboys 82-79 on Jan. 4 in Austin, but Texas guard Tevin Mack, who scored 27 points, has since been suspended indefinitely for violation of unspecified team rules.