By Henry Zimmerman
Ames, Ia. – Rebounding after a close loss against Baylor in their second Big 12 contest of the year, Iowa State Men’s Basketball (10-4, Big 12 2-1) takes the win over the traveling Texas Longhorns (7-8, Big 12 1-2), 79-70.
Throughout Saturday evening’s game at Hilton Coliseum, experience was a factor for both teams. For Iowa State, it was the senior guards that contributed to the win. The two seniors, Monte Morris and Naz Mitrou-Long, contributed a combined 33 points to compliment fellow senior guard Deonte Burton’s game-high 27. Overall, the starters scored 71 out of the team’s 79 total points.
Of the Cyclone seniors, Deonte Burton had one of the best performances of his college career: 27 points on 12-17 shooting, 3-4 from beyond the arc. He also had five rebounds and four assists over his 33 minutes. Monte Morris had a double-double with 22 points, including three 3-point baskets, and ten rebounds. Morris said after the game that it’s important for the team to be able to rely on Burton especially in Big 12 play. Burton has proven he can be a diverse scorer against varied defensive efforts, but so far this season has been statistically inconsistent.
“He’s a mismatch problem.” – Senior guard Monte Morris on fellow senior Deonte Burton.
Naz Mitrou-Long followed a less than stellar three-point shooting performance at home on December 30th against Texas Tech (1-7 from deep) by shooting 3-8 against the Longhorns. He also contributed four assists to go with one rebound.
Texas on the other showed inexperience in ball handling and offensive confidence, resulting in 19 total turnovers over the course of the game. Iowa State continued to apply pressure to the inexperienced Longhorns and managed 12 steals. Despite the defensive efforts of the Cylcones, Texas managed to shoot well, 53% inside and 50% outside.
The scoring for Texas came by way of the sophomore duo of Kerwin Roach Jr. and Tevin Mack. Mack coming off of a career high 27 points in Wednesday’s match against Oklahoma State, scored 15 points and had six rebounds. Roach Jr. scored a team-high 21, shooting a perfect 4-4 from three.
The Iowa State Cyclones play their next game on the road against Oklahoma State (10-5, Big 12 0-3) on January 11th. Coach Prohm mentioned after the game that he needs his “best players to play well, night in and night out.” And while shooting has its ebbs and flows, Prohm praised his team’s defense and will be looking to it in order win against the Cowboys of Oklahoma State.