OKLAHOMA CITY — After a blazing start by Iowa State, the Cyclones withstood a late Texas rally to beat the Longhorns 75-69 in a Big 12 Conference Tournament semifinal Sunday at Chesapeake Arena.
Alexa Middleton had the hot hand early and scored 24 points to help Iowa State reach the tournament championship against Baylor Monday night.
Texas (23-9) trailed by as many as 16 points, but rallied behind Jatarie White and Joyner Holmes. The Longhorns tied the game, 64-64, on a 3-pointer by Destiny Littleton with 3:22 to play.
Iowa State (25-7) outscored Texas 11-5 down the stretch to pull out the victory.
Holmes scored 19 points to lead Texas. White had 18 points and 7 boards.
Iowa State came out firing, nailing six 3-pointers in the first quarter to seize control. For the half, the Cyclones hit nine behind the arc, four by Middleton. By contrast, Middleton had scored only 22 3-pointers in 30 games heading into Sunday’s semi.
With White and Holmes manning the middle, Texas received most of its points in the paint. Sug Sutton had 10 points in the first half but Iowa State owned a 43-32 lead at the break.
Texas forward Jada Underwood was under concussion protocol and missed the game.
Iowa State, which made nine 3-pointers in the first half, hit just two behind the arc in the second half.
Texas holds an all-time record of 28-22 in the Big 12 Conference Tournament. The Longhorns have made six appearances in the championship final, which ties for the second-most championship final appearances in the tournament’s history.
Both Texas and Iowa State are considered locks to reach the NCAA Tournament. The tournament bracket will be announced by ESPN next Monday
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