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Tuesday's college basketball: Jones scores 23, No. 4 Texas holds off Iowa State 78-72

Jim Vertuno
Associated Press

Austin, Texas — Andrew Jones scored a career-high 23 points and No. 4 Texas held off Iowa State 78-72 on Tuesday night to continue its torrid start to the season.

Texas (9-1, 3-0 Big 12) led by as much as 15 early in the second half and appeared to be cruising to an easy win over an Iowa State team that is still winless in conference play. But the Cyclones (2-6, 0-4) kept chipping away and made it tough for Texas at the end.

Texas' Courtney Ramey (3) celebrates with teammates Matt Coleman III, left, Kai Jones, right, at the end of their game against Iowa State, Tuesday, in Austin, Texas. Texas won 78-72.

Jones’ driving baseline layup with 2:40 to play gave Texas a 72-63 cushion. The Cyclones got within 75-70 when Javan Johnson converted a three-point play with 28 seconds left, but the Longhorns closed it out from the free-throw line.

Matt Coleman III added 13 points, including a long jumper with 40 seconds left that helped stem the Cyclones’ rally, and Jericho Sims had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Longhorns.

“We trust each other,” Jones said. “We just trust that each player is going to make the right play. I just go out there play free, play loose, and play confident.”

Johnson scored 21 points to lead Iowa State.

Texas started the season at No. 19 and quickly catapulted to its highest ranking in a decade, with its a biggest win a 25-point road thumping of Kansas. Texas is 3-0 in the Big 12 for the first time since the 2010-2011 season.

The Longhorns had a sluggish start in their return home to an empty arena. Texas didn’t allow any fans as the Austin area battles a surge of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

“Really happy to win tonight in a game that easily could’ve been a trap for us coming off of Kansas,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said. “It was really just a weird feeling in there with no fans.”

Iowa State jumped to an early lead behind forward Solomon Young before the Longhorns sprinted to halftime with a closing fury that saw Jones slice his way for layups and Sims and Kai Jones dominate the Cyclones on the boards.

Texas turned its offense inside-out in the second half with three rapid-fire 3-pointers that pushed the lead as high as 15. Iowa State trimmed it under 10 before freshman Greg Brown made a 3-pointer from the left wing, then followed with a driving, stretching left-handed layup that put the Longhorns up 57-43.

Iowa State now has four losses to opponents that were ranked in the Top 10 when they met.

“We’re making incremental steps,” Cyclones guard Jalen Coleman-Lands said. “There is little room for error when you are playing the top teams in the nation.”

More Top 25

►No. 6 Kansas 93, (at) TCU 64: David McCormack scored a season-high 20 points to lead five Kansas players in double figures as the Jayhawks beat TCU and matched the Big 12 record by winning their 11th consecutive conference road game.

The Jayhawks (9-2, 3-1 Big 12) matched the league mark they initially set 18 years ago. The win in Fort Worth came only three days after their 25-point loss at home to Texas.

Ochai Agbaji added 19 points, while Jalen Wilson had 16, Tristan Enaruna 12 and Christian Braun 10.

Chuck O’Bannon Jr. had a career-high 18 points to lead the Horned Frogs (9-3, 2-2). R.J. Nembhard had 14, ending his streak of four 20-point games in a row.

►(At) Mississippi State 78, No. 13 Missouri 63: DJ Stewart scored 24 points and Mississippi State overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to roll past No. 13 Missouri.

Mississippi State trailed by 14 points early in the second half before taking the lead with a 15-0 run and then pulling away with a 21-4 burst.

Iverson Molinar added 20 points for the Bulldogs (7-4, 2-1 Southeastern Conference). Tolu Smith had 15 points and nine rebounds.

Jeremiah Tilmon led Missouri (7-2, 1-2) with 16 points.

►(At) No. 18 Texas Tech 82, Kansas State 71: Terrence Shannon Jr. beat the first-half buzzer with a jumper on his way to 22 points, Mac McClung added 16 and Texas Tech beat Kansas State.

Marcus Santos-Silva scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half as the Red Raiders (9-3, 2-2 Big 12) picked up their first conference home victory after losing two and beat the Wildcats in Lubbock for the seventh straight time.

Freshmen Nigel Pack and Selton Miguel each scored 17 points for Kansas State (5-7, 1-3), a season high for both.

►(At) No. 19 Clemson 74, North Carolina State 70, OT: Aamir Simms hit a go-ahead basket for a second straight game as Clemson rallied from nine points down in the second half to beat North Carolina State in overtime.

Nick Honor had 21 points and tied the game at 62 with 38 seconds left in regulation to set up the extra period.

North Carolina State (6-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) took its last lead on DJ Funderburk’s 3-pointer with 3:12 to go in OT. That’s when Simms got the ball down low for a basket to put Clemson (9-1, 3-1) ahead for good.

Funderburk finished with 20 points while Daniels had 18 points and 10 rebounds for N.C. State.

State men

►Bowling Green 90, (at) Central Michigan 69: Justin Turner had 17 points to lead six Bowling Green players in double figures as the Falcons rolled past Central Michigan.

Caleb Fields added 13 points, Cam Young chipped in 12, Josiah Fulcher scored 11 and Kaden Metheny had 10 for Bowling Green (8-2, 4-0 Mid-American Conference).

Both teams set season records for scoring during the game. Bowling Green scored 46 first-half points, a season best for the home team, while the 33 second-half points for Central Michigan were the lowest of the season for the visitors.

Meikkel Murray had 16 points for the Chippewas (5-5, 1-2). Travon Broadway Jr. and Caleb Huffman each had 13 points.