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6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 PM GMT10:00 PM 北京时间7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST, Feb 4, 2019
Lloyd Noble Center, Norman, Oklahoma  Attendance: 8,889

Horton-Tucker peaking as No. 17 Iowa State visits Oklahoma

Talen Horton-Tucker was a big part of Iowa State's early success this season. But as Big 12 play started, the freshman guard took a bit of a backseat offensively.

Heading into Monday's game at Oklahoma, Horton-Tucker is back in a featured role for the No. 17 Cyclones on the offensive end.

Over the last four games, he is averaging 15.8 points and 5.3 rebounds, helping put Iowa State atop the Big 12 in scoring offense and field goal percentage.

But in Saturday's win over Texas, it was defense that helped lift the Cyclones to victory as they scored 65 points, their fewest in a win since December 2017.

"I don't think anybody can stop us offensively," Horton-Tucker said. "They might rattle us a little bit, but it's just the shots weren't falling."

While Horton-Tucker has surged offensively lately, senior Marial Shayok, who had been the Big 12's leading scorer for much of conference play, fell to second after his 12-point performance Saturday. It was Shayok's second-lowest-scoring game of the season.

Shayok was just 3 for 14 from the floor, but hit a critical shot late that helped Iowa State extend its winning streak to three.

"We've got great trust in our players," Cyclones coach Steve Prohm said. "These guys know what we want."

The Cyclones (17-5, 6-3) have won five of the last six to move just a half game behind Baylor and Kansas State atop the league. Iowa State lost to both of those teams early in conference play.

This will be a critical week for Iowa State to stay in contention in the league, with Monday's game at Oklahoma followed by a Saturday home game against TCU. After that, the Cyclones' next two games come against the current Big 12 co-leaders.

While Iowa State looks like a good bet to return to the NCAA Tournament after missing last season to snap a six-year streak, Oklahoma needs to start stringing wins together if it hopes to make it back to the tournament.

The Sooners have lost two in a row and four of their last six. While Iowa State has thrived due to its offense, Oklahoma has been at its best when things are working well on the defensive end.

But after opening the season as one of the top defensive teams in the country during an 11-1 start, the OU defense has struggled in conference play.

The Sooners (15-7, 3-6) are eighth in the 10-team league in scoring defense in conference play and seventh in field-goal percentage defense.

"We started thinking more offense than defense -- and certainly you have to think about both -- but the nature of this group, the makeup of this group is we've gotta hang our hat defensively and then work on improving offensively," Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. "We got away from that just a little bit."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 4, 2019

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