There would be no upset this time around.
Exactly one month after stunning Iowa State in Lubbock, the Red Raiders couldn’t find nearly the same formula in a 86-66 loss to Iowa State inside rowdy Hilton Coliseum.
Tech (9-16, 2-12 in Big 12), which dropped its eighth game in a row, knew it would have to be near perfect to repeat the feat against the Cyclones, who won their 22nd straight home game. The Red Raiders were anything but.
They shot just 28 percent (7 of 25) from the 3-point line and 52 percent (13 of 25) from the free-throw line. Iowa State, which made just 6 of 23 3-point shots in the 56-51 loss to Tech on Jan. 23, nailed 11 of 29 attempts Saturday.
Josh Gray recorded his second strong performance in a row with a game-high 20 points, four assists and two steals. (He also had three turnovers). Jaye Crockett added a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Dejan Kravic chipped in 10 points.
Four different Iowa State players scored in double figures, with Chris Babb and Will Clyburn leading the way with 17 points apiece.
Tech fought neck-and-neck with Iowa State nearly the entire first half — highlighted by a jaw-dropping windmill dunk from Crockett — before a crushing sequence with less than 90 seconds left in the period swung momentum in the Cyclones’ favor.
With the Red Raiders trailing by two, 28-26, Jordan Tolbert missed a short jumper and Iowa State grabbed the rebound and pushed the ball in transition. Tyrus McGee found Chris Babb, who nailed a 3-pointer to extend the lead to five. On the shot, Dejan Kravic fouled Melvin Ejim under the basket, and with Tech in the double bonus, Ejim nailed both free throws to give an ISU a 33-26 lead.
It was a seven-point swing in just 12 seconds, the kind of blow the Red Raiders don’t have the firepower to overcome. Tech cut the deficit to five points on Gray’s jumper to begin the second half, but the visitors never got any closer than that, buried in the second half by a barrage of Iowa State 3-pointers.
Iowa State methodically stretched its lead by hitting 23 of 30 free throws, Tech unable to avoid its all-too-common foul problems. The Cyclones also dominated on the glass, 43-31.