Burton propels Cyclones
By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer
AMES — If Iowa State can get Deonte Burton to play as well as he did Saturday more often, the Cyclones just might have a chance in the Big 12.
Burton scored 27 points — two more than he had total in his previous three games — and Iowa State held off Texas 79-70 for its fourth win in five games.
Monte Morris had 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and zero turnovers for the Cyclones (10-4, 2-1 Big 12), who won despite not hitting a free throw for over 30 minutes.
“This was probably his best game offensively all year,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said of Burton.
Iowa State pushed its lead to 40-31 by halftime and jumped ahead by 14 early in the second half. Texas (7-8, 1-2) closed to within 68-65 with 3:42 left, but a Matt Thomas 3 after a pair of defensive stops put the game out of reach.
Iowa State went just 5 of 12 from the line and was outrebounded 35-29. But the Cyclones forced 19 turnovers and put up 14 more shots than Texas.
“We were tough on defense. We were everywhere, and we hustled,” Burton said.
Kerwin Roach Jr. scored 21 for the Longhorns, Tevin Mack had 15 points and Andrew Jones had 14. But Texas also struggled from the line, going just 8 for 16.
“I thought our guys did a great job staying in the fight,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said. “They played for each other and helped each other. But there’s obviously some basketball components of the game we need to do more.”
THE BIG PICTURE
Iowa State: The Cyclones showed how good they can play when Burton plays well. Burton, who has been wildly inconsistent as a senior, was 12 of 17 from the floor and had five rebounds and three assists. Burton also had four turnovers, but Iowa State can live with that if Burton can produce on offense like he did Saturday. “We need this Deonte Burton,” Prohm said.
Texas: The Longhorns will likely be very good someday– perhaps as soon as next year. But Texas showed its youth on defense, miscommunicating on a number of possessions that led to easy looks for Iowa State. If the Cyclones hadn’t missed so many easy baskets in the first half, the margin of defeat would’ve been much larger.
Does Iowa State get a few more votes this week? The Cyclones beat a Texas Tech team that subsequently proved itself in a win over West Virginia, pushed probable No. 1 Baylor to the final buzzer on Wednesday and held off a surge from the talented but inexperienced Longhorns.
After Texas got within 3, Burton got a layup off an assist from Thomas. The Cyclones then got running off a missed Roach 3, and Thomas got free in the corner for the 3 that took the air out of Texas. Thomas had just five points, but he also had four steals.
HE SAID IT
“He’s not a big guy. He’s strong. He’s a perimeter player who does some good things around the basket. He’s a tough matchup,” Smart said about Burton.
Iowa State plays at Oklahoma State on Wednesday.
Texas hosts TCU on Wednesday.