FORT WORTH, Texas — The Iowa State Cyclones did not earn any style points on the road against the TCU Horned Frogs.
Just another much-needed Big 12 road win.
No. 19 Iowa State struggled to distance itself from Big 12-cellar-dwelling TCU but finally emerged with a 71-60 victory on Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
Iowa State guard DeAndre Kane scored 20 points and forward Melvin Ejim, who scored 48 and grabbed 18 rebounds against the Horned Frogs two weeks earlier, had 14 points and four boards.
The Cyclones (21-5, 9-5 Big 12) won despite going 1-for-11 from 3-point range. Iowa State averages 7.6 3-pointer per game.
Iowa State guard Georges Niang, who finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, went to the basket for a layup and a foul, then completed the three-point play to give the Cyclones their largest lead at 64-57 with 4:39 left.
When TCU center Karviar Shepherd missed the front end of a 1-and-1 on the Horned Frogs’ next trip down the floor, it became apparent that TCU didn’t have an upset in it and the Horned Frogs’ conference losing streak would extend to 15 games.
Niang exploited TCU inside again for another three-point play with 3:11 left to put the Cyclones in command with a nine-point edge.
TCU (9-17, 0-14) played without its second-leading scorer, forward Amric Fields, who was dressed in a white collared shirt and navy slacks on the bench. Fields missed most of last season and the first three games of this season with a knee injury. He had not missed a Big 12 game this season before Saturday.
TCU guard Kyan Anderson made three free throws to give the Horned Frogs a 13-3 edge with 13:23 left in the first half. Iowa State made just one of its first seven shots from the field and committed four turnovers in falling behind early.
But the Cyclones pulled out of their early funk in time to take a two-point lead to the break. Kane threw in back-to-back ally-oops on assists from guard Monte Morris and Niang as the Cyclones warmed up from the field.
Iowa State tied the score on a layup by Ejim and went ahead for the first time when guard Matt Thomas hit the Cyclones’ only 3-pointer with 3:42 left in the first half.
Niang’s layup with a second left before halftime put Iowa State ahead 32-30 at the break.
Kane paced Iowa State in the first half with 10 points and three assists. Shepherd led TCU with nine points and nine rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
NOTES: TCU led the series against Iowa State 5-2 before joining the Big 12 in 2012-13. Since then, the Cyclones have won all four meetings. … Iowa State entered the game having won five of six, including three victories over ranked opponents — No. 23 Oklahoma, No. 19 Oklahoma State and No. 19 Texas — and a 15-point victory over TCU. The lone loss was a 25-point defeat at West Virginia. … Iowa State F Melvin Ejim has averaged 20.25 points against TCU in the Cyclones’ four games against the Horned Frogs the last two seasons, including his 48-point outburst against TCU earlier this season. … With the loss to Iowa State, TCU fell to 2-30 in its first two seasons in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs have won three conference games in the last three seasons going back to a 1-15 record during their final Mountain West campaign in 2011-12.
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