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#715 Iowa State 139 vs.
#716 Texas Tech -8
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 4:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s a Big 12 battle on the hardwood down in the Lone Star State. The Iowa State Cyclones are on the road as they make the trip to face the #23 Texas Tech Red Raiders Saturday afternoon. Iowa State comes in off a 68-55 road loss to #2 Baylor in their last contest Wednesday night. Texas Tech rolled to a 77-63 win over Kansas State on the road Wednesday night in their previous contest. The Cyclones own a 20-15 edge in the all-time series between the programs though it was the Red Raiders picking up an 80-73 road win in the most recent matchup on March 9, 2019.

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Iowa State Cyclones Looking to Pick Up Road Win vs. Ranked Foe

Iowa State has struggled of late as their defeat to Baylor marked their fifth loss in seven games entering this contest. The Cyclones have just two wins on the books over a team ranked in the top-100 as they beat Seton Hall and Oklahoma at home. Iowa State’s schedule is littered with missed opportunities as they lost to Baylor, Oregon State and TCU (in overtime) on the road. In addition, the Cyclones have neutral site losses to Michigan and Seton Hall along with home losses to Kansas and Iowa. The one galling loss on the ledger is the two-point defeat to a Florida A&M team that they were favored by 25.5 points against back on New Year’s Eve. That’s the loss that started this recent tailspin.

The Cyclones are a productive offensive team as they average 76.9 points per game on the season. Iowa State pulls down 35.6 boards a night while dishing out an average of 16.6 assists per game on the year. The Cyclones are below average on the defensive end, ranking 239th in the nation in scoring defense as they allow 71.4 points per contest. Tyrese Haliburton leads the way offensively for the Cyclones with 15.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 7.8 assists a night on the season. Rasir Bolton contributes 14.8 points a game but there is a drop-off from there. George Conditt IV, Prentiss Nixon, Solomon Young and Michael Jacobson all have to be on their game for the Cyclones. Iowa State is shooting 45.4 percent from the floor this season. The Cyclones average 7.9 three pointers a night while shooting 31.8 percent from beyond the arc. Iowa State is about average at the free throw line as they shoot 70.3 percent as a team on the year.

The Cyclones are 96th in the nation in tempo with an average of 70.4 possessions a game. Iowa State has been excellent on the offensive end, ranking 28th in offensive efficiency, while they are 111th in defensive efficiency this season. The Cyclones are 86th in effective field goal percentage (51.6 percent) and stand 19th in turnover percentage (15.9 percent) on the year offensively. Most of Iowa State’s damage is done inside the arc as they are 31st in two-point field goal percentage at 54.1 percent this season.

Texas Tech Red Raiders Looking to Start Win Streak

Texas Tech has had their bumps in the road as they try to follow up on last season’s national title game loss. Chris Beard stuck around, spurning other high-profile job opportunities, to run the show in Lubbock again but he has different personnel this season to work with. The Red Raiders started the year 5-0 before three straight defeats, two of which came in overtime. Texas Tech then regrouped with five straight wins before losing two straight, leading into their win over Kansas State. The Red Raiders are looking for some more wins as their best win came over Louisville on a neutral floor. Texas Tech has dropped games to Baylor at home, West Virginia and DePaul on the road, along with Iowa and Creighton on neutral floors.

The Red Raiders are averaging 73.9 points per game on the offensive end of the floor this season, putting them tied for 131st in the nation in scoring offense. Texas Tech is pulling down 36.7 boards a night while dishing out 16.6 assists per contest. The Red Raiders are stifling on the defensive end of the floor, ranking 45th in the nation by allowing 62.2 points a night. Jahmi’us Ramsey leads the Red Raiders with 16.3 points plus 5.1 rebounds a night. Davide Moretti (13.1 points), Terrence Shannon Jr. (11.6 points), Kyler Edwards (11.4 rebounds, 4.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists) and TJ Holyfield (8.9 points) are all solid options on the offensive end of the floor. Chris Clarke, Kevin McCullar and Avery Benson are averaging double-digit minutes for coach Chris Beard. Texas Tech is shooting 43.8 percent from the floor this season. The Red Raiders splash 6.9 threes a night while shooting 32.7 percent from beyond the arc. Texas Tech is very good at the free throw line as they knock down 75.2 percent of their chances this season.

The Red Raiders are 13th in the nation in defensive efficiency this season. Texas Tech is 58th in effective field goal percentage (45.9 percent) according to KenPom.com, in addition to being 17th in turnover percentage (24.1 percent) and 42nd in two-point field goal percentage (44.1 percent) this season. The Red Raiders are effective on the offensive end of the floor, ranking 70th in offensive efficiency. Texas Tech is very good at sharing the ball, ranking sixth by recording an assist on 65.2 percent of their buckets this season.

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Iowa State started strong but things have fallen apart of late as they’ve been unable to do much in conference play or on the road this season. The Cyclones come in 1-3 in Big 12 action and 0-3 in true road games this season. Texas Tech has the fifth-best home court advantage in the nation according to KenPom and it’s hard to see the Red Raiders losing a second home game in the span of a couple weeks after they were dropped by Baylor earlier this month. The Red Raiders looked good in the win over Kansas State and they do the job here to make it back to back wins.

Prediction: Texas Tech Red Raiders -3

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Iowa State has a solid enough offensive attack but they're going to have their hands full here. The Cyclones are 100th in the nation in field goal percentage but they have to contend with a Texas Tech defense that is 59th in field goal percentage defense (39.8 percent) this season. Iowa State's defense is leaky as opposing teams shoot 43.8 percent from the field (237th) and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc (324th) this season. When we saw the Red Raiders go toe to toe with Baylor, neither side cracked the 60-point barrier. Iowa State's tilt with the Bears yielded only slightly more offensive production. This one seems primed to stay under the number.

Prediction: Under 138.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.