AMES, Iowa – Melvin Ejim scored 25 points, and DeAndre Kane added 22 to help No. 17 Iowa State beat 19th-ranked Texas 85-76 on Tuesday night for its fifth victory in six games.
Georges Niang had 20 points for the Cyclones (20-5, 8-5 Big 12), who clinched their third straight 20-win season under coach Fred Hoiberg.
Iowa State outscored Texas 25-12 late in the second half to pull away and move within a game of the second-place Longhorns in the Big 12. They were keyed by Ejim, who had his second-best scoring game of the season.
Isaiah Taylor had 26 points to lead the Longhorns (20-6, 9-4), who've followed up a seven-game winning streak by splitting their last four.
Even though Texas shot just 33 percent from the floor, it still hit some big shots in the second half. The Longhorns could barely miss from the line, either.
Javan Felix hit a 3 to match a crowd-energizing one from Matt Thomas, and Connor Lammert did as well with Iowa State on the verge of going ahead by double digits with 8:08 left.
Texas also hit its first 16 free throws, and 23 of 25 overall, to hang close. But Jonathan Holmes finally missed with 6:26 left, and Niang's ensuing putback gave Iowa State a 75-65 lead.
Holmes and Cameron Ridley, who combined for 39 points and 18 rebounds in an 86-76 Texas win over Iowa State last month, teamed up for just 18 points and 14 rebounds on Tuesday.
Felix had 16 points, but he needed 22 shots to get there.
The Cyclones had struggled of late on defense. They let up 102 points in a loss at West Virginia on Feb. 10 – and followed that up by blowing an 18-point home lead against Texas Tech.