Ames, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Tech Red Raiders go in search of
their first four-game win streak of the season on Saturday afternoon, as they
ride into Hilton Coliseum to challenge the 11th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones in
Big 12 Conference action.
Texas Tech is just 13-11 on the season, 5-6 in conference, but the team has
performed very well the past two weeks, winning three in a row, the last two
of which have come against teams that had been members of the Top-25 --
Oklahoma State (65-61) and Oklahoma (68-60). Despite their recent upswing, the
Red Raiders are just 2-6 in true road games this season, although they've
split their last four away from Lubbock, including Wednesday's big win over
Iowa State had a three-game win streak stopped at West Virginia in its most
recent outing, as the Cyclones were trounced in a 102-77 final. It was only
the fifth loss for ISU this season, and all of its setbacks have come against
conference foes. The Cyclones are a near-perfect 11-1 at home, with their lone
blemish coming in a 77-70 loss to Kansas on Jan. 13. They will play three of
their next four in Ames, including this one.
Iowa State owns a 13-11 lead in the all-time series with Texas Tech, and that
includes a 73-62 win in Lubbock in the conference opener this season. Georges
Niang scored 17 points and hauled in seven rebounds to lead the Cyclones in
that contest, while the Red Raiders were paced by Jaye Crockett's 20-point,
Robert Turner scored 16 points and handed out five assists, while Crockett and
Dusty Hannahs chipped in 10 points each for the Red Raiders in their recent
upset of Oklahoma. Crockett pulled down eight of the team's 36 rebounds, as it
outmuscled the Sooners to the tune of a +7 rebounding advantage. A resounding
20-6 edge in points from the foul line also played an integral role in the
final outcome. Oklahoma shot just 28 percent from the field in the opening
half, and it went 6-of-27 from 3-point range (.222) for the game.
Crockett (14.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Jordan Tolbert (10.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) are the
only players averaging double figures in scoring for coach Tubby Smith's club,
which features four others who net between 6.8 and 9.8 ppg. As a collective
unit, the Red Raiders are hitting their field goals 46.6 percent of the time
in putting up 71.6 ppg, while allowing the opposition 68.2 ppg in keeping them
to only 29.6 caroms per contest.
Niang was high man once again for the Cyclones in their recent loss to West
Virginia, as he tallied 17 points. Unfortunately, Iowa State shot just 36.6
percent from the floor, which included a woeful 4-of-23 performance from
beyond the arc. Dustin Hogue logged a double-double consisting of 15 points
and 10 rebounds, while Melvin Ejim came up with a dozen boards, helping mask
his dismal 1-of-9 shooting effort. Despite claiming a 44-34 rebounding
advantage, ISU lost the game by allowing the Mountaineers to drain 13 treys as
part of a 53.8 percent overall shooting effort.
Ejim (19.1 ppg. 8.7 rpg) is one of the more well-round players, not only in
the Big 12, but the country as well. He gets help from Niang (16.2 ppg, 4.2
rpg), DeAndre Kane (15.9 ppg, 6.0 apg) and Hogue (11.1 ppg, 8.8 rpg), as the
team generates a robust 84.7 ppg while permitting 74.1 ppg. The Cyclones are
outshooting their opponents (.471 to .415), and they goad them into nearly 13
turnovers per outing.
The Sports Network