AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the second time in a week, Texas had a massive lead over a quality, Big 12 opponent. Saturday against Iowa State, the Longhorns didn’t stall on offense and didn’t collapse during the final minutes.
Texas defeated the Cyclones 86-69 at the Frank Erwin Center for the Longhorns most complete win of the season. For the NCAA Tournament, this is a major boost to Texas’ (16-13, 8-8 in Big 12) chances knocking off the #14 team in the NET rankings.
In Wednesday’s game against Baylor, the Longhorns led 62-45 with 9:50 to go in the game but allowed Baylor to go on a 19-2 run to tie it and eventually lose the game in overtime. Against Iowa State, the Longhorns led 66-48 with 9:20 remaining, but the Cyclones could only get within 15 of the Horns.
Eli Mitrou-Long, finished with 13 points, hit a three pointer with 7:58 to go to halt any ideas Iowa State had at a comeback.
The Longhorns built a 12-point halftime lead on a 15-3 run to close the first half. Sophomore Jase Febres played the best game of his Longhorn career making eight three-pointers and finishing with 26 points.
Febres has elevated his game without Longhorns leading scorer Kerwin Roach in the line up. Roach missed his third straight game due to a suspension for a violation of team rules. Febres is shooting .625 from three-point range this week against Baylor and Iowa State.
On Saturday, the Longhorns blew away the Big 12’s best offense shooting 54.7% from the field and 15-of-25 from three. Not known as particularly good shooting team, Texas is hitting a hot streak at the end of the season. They shot 50% from the field in the overtime loss to Baylor.
Texas enters the final week of the regular season likely needing one more win to feel secure on a NCAA Tournament line. The Longhorns travel to Lubbock on Monday and host TCU Saturday. The Longhorns will be looking to avenge losses to both teams earlier this season. Texas lost at home to Tech 68-62 and on the road at TCU 66-61.