Naz Long: ‘Going To Be New Guy Every Night’

No. 15 Iowa State got off to a great start against No. 19 Texas on Monday and led 36-25 at halftime. The second half was a little tighter, but Iowa State pulled out an 89-86 win, as five Cyclones finished in double figures.

“That’s what this team’s about,” Iowa State guard Naz Long said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Every night it’s going to be a new guy, and luckily tonight, it was a couple guys. We got back to the basics after coming off a tough loss at (Texas) Tech. We just wanted to get back to what we do. I’m proud of my guys for stepping up to the challenge and making it difficult on a tough Texas team. I’m very happy for my guys.”

Long had eight points and a team-high seven boards, as Georges Niang (19 points), Bryce Dejean-Jones (18), Jameel McKay (14), Monte Morris (13) and Dustin Hogue (11) headlined a balanced attack.

But Texas, which made 10 three-pointers, made Iowa State sweat it out toward the end.

“I think we got a little stagnant (on offense),” Long said. “I think teams tend to do that when (they’re) up a little bit. We wanted to play kill the clock a little bit. That’s what we were doing. We had 17 assists with seven minutes to go and finished the game with 20. That’s where we could (improve). You could add a little bit of free-throw shooting as well, a little bit from everybody. We need to improve on that a little bit to close out a game. But all in all, we got the win. A win’s a win. I’m proud of my dudes.”

Iowa State shot 25-of-38 (65.8 percent) from the foul line but 29-of-53 (54.7 percent) from the field. It was a much-needed win after a surprising loss at Texas Tech on Saturday. The Red Raiders (11-9, 1-6) entered that game winless in Big 12 play.

Afterward, Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg told his players to move on.

“Things happen,” Long said. “It was definitely a tough loss. None of us were proud of it. Texas Tech caught us slipping, so I’m not going to take anything away from them. But we need to get back to the basics. We need to do the things that we did in previous games against Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State. We had to forget about it. Basically, the model was on to the next (game). We came in here – it’s always good to play at home against a great Texas team – and (we) got back to that mentality we have. So everything turned out good.”

Scott Ferrall was particularly impressed with Iowa State’s rebounding against Texas. The Cyclones were out-rebounded 39-29, but all eight players who saw action grabbed at least one board against a big, physical Longhorns team.

“When you put the team first and when you understand it’s about the name on the front, everything’s going to work out great,” Long said. “That’s what I feel we did tonight. I’m really happy about this win because it just goes to show how many great dudes we have on this team and how it can be anybody’s night any given night.”

Iowa State (15-4, 5-2) hosts TCU (14-5, 1-5) this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.

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