The Texas Tech Red Raiders entered Big 12 Conference play as the worst 3-point shooting team in the conference. Texas Tech had a somewhat unlucky draw in their conference opener, facing the undefeated Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State is one of the nation’s best 3-point shooting teams.
In order to offset the discrepancy in 3-point shots, Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith elected to give sophomore guard Dusty Hannahs significant minutes. Hannahs is the lone 3-point specialist on a squad that primarily relies on their frontcourt for success.
Hannahs was 3-of-7 from outside the arc, helping the Red Raiders out-shoot the Cyclones from outside. His 16 points exceeded his normal average by nine points. Coupled with Jaye Crockett‘s 20 points, the Red Raiders had enough firepower to cut a 17-point Cyclones lead to a 50-50 tie midway through the second half. Iowa State had nothing going for them offensively, and began to to do what good teams do in a time of crisis: drive to the basket.
The free throw differential was in favor of the Cyclones as Iowa State took 21 more trips to the charity stripe. The officiating was not lopsided in the contest. Iowa State could not get their shots to fall and began to attack the basket. The undisciplined backcourt of Texas Tech could not compete athletically with Iowa State’s guards, and resulted in the team reaching to minimize damage.
The guiltiest party was Hannahs. The Cyclones exploited the mismatch of DeAndre Kane being guarded by the smaller Hannahs and started posting him up en route to their 73-62 victory. Kane was 9-of-13 from the charity stripe.
While Iowa State was earning trips to the free throw line, Texas Tech was trying to play Iowa State Basketball. The Red Raiders were playing at a pace they were unaccustomed to and were taking outside shots that they normally do not take in bunches. Iowa State will host Baylor on Tuesday night and Texas Tech hosts West Virginia Monday.
Iowa State has been on a historic run this season. With the victory on Saturday, it has tied its longest winning streak in school history at 13 games. Iowa State basketball is now 1,252-1,252 all time. This is the first time that the Cyclones have had a .500 all-time record since 1908.
Jack Dooley is a Big 12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JackDooleyOCS.