AMES, Iowa -- Give Iowa State's fans an assist in this upset.
Energized by a boisterous crowd, Iowa State came from 14 points down in the second half to beat No. 11 Texas 78-77 on Saturday.
Jake Sullivan scored 24 points to lead the Cyclones, Damion Staple dunked in the winning basket with 1:09 left and with the crowd at its noisiest, Brian Boddicker of Texas missed two free throws that could have won it in the final seconds.
"Our crowd in our big games here -- Xavier, Iowa, this game, Missouri -- basically comes out of the stands and comes on the floor and breathes more energy into our guys," said Iowa State coach Wayne Morgan.
Those fans actually did come onto the court Saturday. Hundreds swarmed out of the stands when the final buzzer sounded to join the celebrating Iowa State players.
"I've never had the feeling before," said Iowa State freshman Curtis Stinson, who had 18 points and 10 assists. "It felt real good."
Iowa State (14-7, 5-5 Big 12) had been blown out in its three previous games, but showed resolve this time after trailing 61-47 with less than 14 minutes to play. The Cyclones outscored Texas 31-16 the rest of the way, leaving Longhorns coach Rick Barnes shaking his head in dismay.
"We gave the game away," Barnes said. "Give them credit. They stayed with it. But we helped them get back in the game with poor decisions. You just can't do that."
Texas (17-4, 8-2) faltered after taking a 77-76 lead on James Thomas' two free throws with 1:47 left. Iowa State missed two shots, but retained possession both times and Stinson drove into the lane looking for a shot. His defender, P.J. Tucker fell, and when Boddicker slid over to help, Stinson slipped the ball to Staple, who slammed it through with both hands.
"When I turned, the big man was there and Damion flashed behind him," Stinson said. "It was a good move by Damion. I just had to get him the ball."
After each team missed a shot, Texas had a chance when Boddicker, an 81 percent free-throw shooter, went to the line with 5.3 seconds left. With fans screaming and waving their arms and towels and Sullivan doing jumping jacks at the top of the key, both of Boddicker's shots bounced off the back of the rim.
"I would like to have (seen) the decibel level when Boddicker was shooting those free throws," Morgan said. "It was loud."
Brandon Mouton, who led Texas with a career-high 29 points, shot an airball on a hurried putback attempt and Tucker missed on the follow. Iowa State's Jared Homan grabbed the rebound and the buzzer went off.
"The first one I thought was a little long. The second one felt good," Boddicker said. "It was just tough. I felt like I let my teammates down."
Jackson Vroman added 20 points for Iowa State on 9-for-12 shooting. Homan scored 10 points.
Mouton went 12-of-23 from the field, including four 3-pointers, in topping his previous best of 27 against Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament last year. Jason Klotz added 13 points for the Longhorns and Tucker had 12.
Texas outrebounded Iowa State 45-28 and had 19 offensive rebounds. The Longhorns scored six baskets on putbacks, three of which they turned into three-point plays, but couldn't get the one they needed at the end.
"We were having good defensive stands, but they kept getting the offensive rebound and putting it back in and that was killing us," Morgan said. "We just had to keep trying to bear down until we got to the point where we could get some of those rebounds."
Down 44-43 at halftime, Texas made seven of its first nine shots in the second half and went on an 18-3 run to open its 14-point lead. The Longhorns were up 71-64 after Mouton's baseline jumper with 7:04 remaining, but they went the next 4½ minutes without a field goal.
Iowa State kept clawing back and tied it at 73 on Stinson's driving shot with 3:20 left. It was back and forth from then on.
The Associated Press News Service
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