No. 8 Texas Tech riding high before hosting Iowa State

No. 8 Texas Tech looks to build on its Big 12 lead and national resume when it plays host to the reeling Iowa State Cyclones on Wednesday night at the United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

The Red Raiders, riding a five-game winning streak, enter the contest at 15-1, fresh off a historic road victory against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday; it was Tech's first win in Austin since 1996 when both schools were part of the Southwest Conference.

Tech sits alone atop the Big 12 at 4-0, the only undefeated team in conference play.

Texas Tech's only loss came at Duke on Dec. 20, 69-58.

On the flip side, the Cyclones (12-4, 2-2) dropped out of the Top 25 after losing their second consecutive game, a heartbreaking home loss to Kansas State on Saturday, 58-57. Barry Brown's layup with 4 seconds left capped a 6-0 run for K-State to end the game, stunning the Cyclones.

"Biggest thing, it's a tough loss," Cyclones coach Steve Prohm said. "Brutal loss."

ISU's 57-point output was its lowest of the season.

Iowa State has lost consecutive games for the first time all season, also losing last week at Baylor, 73-70. The Cyclones' 17-point drubbing of then-No. 5 Kansas on Jan. 5 seems like a distant memory.

The Cyclones are 1-2 on the road and in danger of dropping to 1-3. The Red Raiders are 10-0 at home this season and 43-4 in Lubbock under coach Chris Beard.

The Red Raiders boast one of the top defenses in the country, sitting No. 2 in the country in scoring defense at 54.0 points allowed per game. The Red Raiders are No. 1 in opponent field goal percentage (33.8 percent), and No. 2 in 3-point defense (25.4 percent).

"We are a defensive team," Beard said after defeating the Longhorns. "That's our identity. Teams like Texas make it look like you can't play defense from time to time. I thought our guys were dialed in for most of the game."

The Red Raiders are led by Wooden Award candidate Jarrett Culver, a 6-foot-6 sophomore guard who is averaging 18.7 points per game. The Lubbock native has scored in double figures in 14 of 15 games and is shooting 56.3 percent from the field.

Culver is also the team's leading rebounder, pulling down 6.4 boards per game and leads the team in assists (65).

Senior guard Matt Mooney is second on the team, averaging 11.4 points per game, and leads the team in steals (30).

Texas Tech's defensive prowess will be put to the test by a Cyclones team that leads the Big 12 in scoring average and features four players averaging double figures in points per game.

Senior guard Marial Shayok leads the Cyclones, averaging 19.4 points per game, tops in the Big 12.

Junior forward Michael Jacobson (13.6 ppg), freshman guard Talen Horton-Tucker (12.3 ppg) and sophomore guard Lindell Wigginton (11.7 ppg) pace a team that's averaging 79.8 points per game.

The Cyclones are shooting 48.1 percent from the field.

The status of big man Cam Lard, who missed Saturday's game with a sprained ankle, was up in the air, as of Tuesday. Prohm said he expects Lard to be in uniform, but anything beyond that was unknown.

The Cyclones also said Saturday that fellow big man Solomon Young will miss the remainder of the season with a groin injury. He appeared in four games.

Iowa State owns a 19-14 edge in the series, but Tech leads 10-5 in games played in Lubbock. The Cyclones have won three of the past four contests.

Wednesday's game is the first of two between the teams. The Red Raiders and Cyclones will meet again in the final game of the regular season in Ames on March 9.

--Field Level Media

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