Texas and Iowa State will play for first place in the Big 12 on Saturday when the conference rivals meet for the only time this season.
The 13th-ranked Longhorns (13-6, 6-2) and No. 19 Iowa State (17-2, 7-1) are among five teams within one game of each other for first place in the conference.
The Cyclones and No. 12 Texas Tech are tied for the top spot in the league, 15th-ranked Kansas State is one-half game back of the leaders, and No. 8 Baylor and Texas are one game behind.
The two-time defending Big 12 champion Longhorns have won four in a row after splitting their first four conference games.
Tiffany Jackson has been at the center of the resurgence, scoring at least 22 points in each of the last three games. She hit her first nine shots and finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead Texas to a 77-62 win Wednesday night over Texas A&M.
Jackson has had little trouble scoring in bunches during the winning streak, compared to earlier in the season when the Longhorns were just 9-6 and she appeared frustrated on the court.
“She’s made so many adjustments,” Texas coach Jody Conradt said. “Early on she was doing a lot of things with the basketball that weren’t working out. Since that time, she’s really become much more patient.”
Iowa State beat Colorado 103-76 Wednesday, the Cyclones’ highest total in a league game since a 112-79 victory over Baylor on Feb. 26, 2000.
Anne O’Neil fell one rebound short of becoming the first Iowa State player with a triple-double, and Megan Ronhovde made all six of her 3-point shots in scoring a career-high 24 points to lead the Cyclones.
“That was probably the most fun game we’ve played all year,” Ronhovde said. “The crowd was into it, we were all into it. We had played two road games and it was really fun to get back to Hilton.”
O’Neil had 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds when she left the game with 4:36 remaining. She did not return, though coach Bill Fennelly gave her the option.
“When I took her out, my son Billy said, ‘Dad, she needs another rebound to get a triple-double,”’ Fennelly said. “I asked Anne, ‘Do you want to go back in?’ She said, ‘No, let the other kids play. I’m done.’
“That’s not just somebody who had a good game. That’s someone who’s a leader who understands the big picture.”
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