No. 5 Texas wallops Iowa State for Big 12 title

Mar 12, 2024; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas Longhorns forward Aaliyah Moore (23) shoots the ball over Iowa State Cyclones forward Addy Brown (24) during the first half at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Madison Booker scored 26 points on Tuesday night and No. 5 Texas never trailed in a 70-53 win over Iowa State in the championship game of the Big 12 Conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo.

Aaliyah Moore netted 14 points and Shaylee Gonzales added 11 for the second-seeded Longhorns (30-4), who opened up a 20-point lead before the halfway point of the second quarter and were never really pushed in the second half.

Texas may have a shot at a No. 1 regional seed in the NCAA Tournament with Stanford’s loss to Southern California in the Pac-12 tournament final on Sunday.

Audi Crooks scored 25 points for the fourth-seeded Cyclones (20-11), who thumped top-seeded Oklahoma in a semifinal matchup on Monday but couldn’t quite crack the code against Texas’ defense. Iowa State shot 46.5 percent from the field but committed 20 turnovers that the Longhorns cashed in for 23 points.

The game was decided in a six-plus-minute stretch bridging the first and second quarters. Iowa State fell behind 14-4 but got consecutive 3-pointers from Hannah Belanger to pull within four with 3:25 remaining.

Beginning with Taylor Jones’ putback at the 2:05 mark of the first, Texas took command with a 16-0 run that included 11 straight points to open the second. Booker drilled a 3-pointer to close the first-period scoring, then capped the lengthy burst by scoring off her steal with 5:46 left in the first half.

The Cyclones went 8:55 without scoring before Belanger fed Crooks for a layup with 4:30 remaining before halftime. The margin climbed to 40-18 when Gonzales swished an open 3-pointer before Iowa State’s Kelsey Joens connected on a high-arcing trey just before time expired in the first half.

The second half saw the Cyclones play a better brand of basketball, although they never got the margin below 12. They had a chance to cut it to 10, but Jones blocked an Addy Brown jumper and Booker hit a jumper at the other end as time expired for a 51-37 lead after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, the Longhorns quickly regained a 20-point cushion and coasted from there.

–Field Level Media

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