KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Monte Morris rose up and hit an 18-foot jumper at the buzzer, capping a 12-0 closing run that lifted No. 13 Iowa State to a 69-67 victory over Texas in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament Thursday night.
Morris finished with 24 points for the second-seeded Cyclones (23-8), who trailed by 16 points before clawing back into the game. Still, Iowa State trailed 67-57 with less than 4 minutes to go when it unleashed a full-court press that helped it draw even.
Morris’ 3-pointer with 1:42 left tied it at 67, and the teams swapped empty possessions before Texas (20-13) got the ball back with 38.1 seconds left.
Isaiah Taylor allowed the shot clock to melt down before driving the lane and missing a running jumper. Texas got the rebound and kicked it out to Javan Felix, but he misfired on a long 3-pointer and the Cyclones’ Dustin Hogue grabbed the long rebound and called timeout.
With 5.8 seconds left, Hogue took the inbounds pass and race dup court, found Morris in the corner, and the sophomore guard calmly rose up over the Longhorns’ Demarcus Holland for the game-winning shot — sending the Cyclones streaming off the bench into a jubilant pile.
Georges Niang added 22 points for the defending tournament champion Cyclones, who advanced to play the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State winner in the semifinals Friday night.
Jonathan Holmes finished with 15 points, Taylor had 13 and Felix 10 for the No. 7 seed Longhorns, who now must wait to see whether they’ve earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
The Longhorns, accustomed to pummeling opponents in the post, beat the Cyclones at their own game in the first half. Felix hit a pair of 3-pointers, 7-footer Myles Turner knocked down another and Texas used 6-for-12 shooting from beyond the arc to help build its halftime cushion.
It wasn’t just offense, though. The Longhorns clamped down on defense.
After the Cyclones got to 15-14 on a basket by Niang with 12:51 left, they went nearly 10 minutes without scoring, missing all 11 field-goal attempts. It wasn’t until Niang got loose for a bucket with 3:05 left that the drought ended. By then, Texas led 29-16.
Iowa State went on a bit of a run in the closing minutes to get within 36-25 at the break, but the Longhorns pushed the lead back to 46-31 on yet another outside binge.
That soon became the status quo: Every time Iowa State scored, a heavily-pro Cyclones crowd roared in approval. Every time they cheered, the Longhorns quickly found an answer.
Until the final few minutes of the game, when Iowa State finally made a run stick.
Texas: Holmes also had nine rebounds for the Longhorns. … Texas dropped to 12-4 in Big 12 tournament quarterfinals under coach Rick Barnes. … Taylor also had five assists.
Iowa State: The Cyclones’ four-game win streak against Texas is a school-best. … Niang also had six assists. … Iowa State has come from behind to win its last three games.
Texas gets to spend a couple tense days waiting for Selection Sunday.
Iowa State will face the Sooners or Cowboys on Friday night.
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