FORT WORTH, Texas — The Iowa State Cyclones did not earn any style points on the road against the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday.
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 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.
TCU guard Kyan Anderson scored 18 points to lead the Horned Frogs and center Karviar Shepherd had 14 points and 15 rebounds as TCU made Iowa State nervous throughout.
“A couple times I thought we might be coming on and they got a 3 or had a three-point play,” Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg said. “You have a couple of efforts like this over the course of the year and you have to find a way to win.”
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.
“Huge play by Georges,” Hoiberg said. “He’s been a guy that’s done it late in games and really closed it out for us.”
When Shepherd missed the front end of a 1-and-1 on the Horned Frogs’ next trip down the floor and forward Dustin Hogue rebounded for the Cyclones, it became apparent TCU didn’t have an upset in it and the Horned Frogs’ conference losing streak would extend to 15 games.
“It hurts when we’re not knocking down shots when it counts,” Anderson said. “We had a lot of turnovers near the end. It’s irritating, but at this point in time we have to stay positive. Like I said, we’re getting a lot better.”
Niang exploited TCU inside again for another 3-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.
“It was like he was playing on one leg,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said. “I didn’t think he could play. Against Kansas State he was dragging the leg.”
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.
“Not a good start for our guys,” Hoiberg said. “We just didn’t come out with the energy we need to. Once we picked it up, we were better, but we gave them the confidence to hang around.”
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 has won six of seven, including three victories over ranked opponents — No. 23 Oklahoma, No. 19 Oklahoma State and No. 19 Texas — and a pair of victories over TCU. The lone loss was a 25-point defeat at West Virginia. … Iowa State F Melvin
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