AMES, Iowa (AP) — Third-ranked Texas couldn’t miss.
Then the Longhorns couldn’t hit anything while Iowa State hit every shot.
The Cyclones went cold themselves, but Seanna Johnson hit a layup with 19 seconds left, and Texas’s unbeaten start is history after Iowa State rallied from an 18-point deficit to stun third-ranked Texas 59-57 on Saturday.
“They were better than we were at just a lot of the little things,” Texas coach Karen Aston said. “We came out really flat out of halftime. I’ll take responsibility for that. I probably didn’t keep them on edge.”
Nikki Moody had 17 points to lead Iowa State (11-3, 2-1 Big 12), which defeated a top-three team at home for the first time in 12 years.
The way the Cyclones did it sure was a head scratcher though.
Texas led by 37-19 late in the first half. But Iowa State answered with a 38-13 run and the Longhorns went cold in the second half, hitting just 8 of 38 shots.
Brady Sanders had 16 points for Texas (13-1, 2-1), which held Iowa State to just Johnson’s basket in the final 8:10 and still lost.
Texas let Iowa State erase its massive lead in less than 10 minutes — and Kidd Blaskowsky’s 3 gave the Cyclones a 50-47 lead with 10:57 left.
Instead of responding, the Longhorns folded.
Texas scored just six points in a stretch spanning nearly 10 minutes in the second half until Brooke McCarty’s 3 made it 57-56 Iowa State with 3:30 left.
But McCarty, Sanders and Nneka Enemkpali all missed shots just before the buzzer, completing a stunning turnaround for the Cyclones.
Nekia Jones had 15 points off the bench for the Longhorns, who lost despite outrebounding Iowa State 49-36.
“The magic of this program came out,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “It’s an amazing effort by our team.”
After a surprisingly narrow win over West Virginia in Austin, Texas looked primed to be upset.
Instead, the Longhorns had the Cyclones on their heels early.
Iowa State appeared to be finished late in the first half, especially considering that it blew a 24-point lead of its own in an 86-84 loss at TCU on Wednesday.
But the Cyclones responded with 14 unanswered points to make a game of it.
The Longhorns hit 7 of 11 3s in the first half despite ranking last in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage. Their luck dried up in the second half, as did their best start since 1986.
“Our team has been playing a little bit in some peaks and valleys, where we lose our discipline and concentration sometimes,” Aston said.
Texas: Sanders and Jones were just 8 of 40 on 3s in their first 13 games. But they combined to shoot 6 of 7 in the first half alone.
Iowa State: The Cyclones celebrated coach Fennelly’s 20th season on Saturday, with nearly 20 former players in attendance.
Fennelly said the mood of his team changed when the Cyclones brought out his former players with just under 16 minutes left. “What we kept saying before the game, during the game was ‘All of those players…have done so much for this school. So much for this team.’ I challenged our players (and said) you want to be one of those players, five years from now, 10 years from now.”
This was Iowa State’s first victory over a top 10 team since 2009, but its fifth straight win over Texas. The Longhorns hit just 23 of 71 shots despite their hot start.
Texas plays at Oklahoma on Wednesday.
Iowa State plays at No. 5 Baylor on Tuesday.
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