AMES, Iowa — Iowa State forward Melvin Ejim put on quite a show Saturday.
Ejim set a Big 12 record by scoring 48 points as the 16th-ranked Cyclones defeated TCU 84-69 in a Big 12 game.
“This will get a lot of national attention obviously because it’s a Big 12 record and there have been some pretty special players that have gone through this league,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.
Ejim put together a day for the ages by being ruthlessly efficient on offense, going 20 of 24 from the field. His 20 field goals were a Big 12 record. He also was 6 of 6 from the foul line and capped off his day with series of monster dunks.
“It is just one of those games where he is in the zone,” TCU guard Kyan Anderson said. “The rim gets bigger and bigger every time you shoot the ball.”
Ejim tied the Division I season high for points in a game previously set by BYU’s Tyler Haws and Texas Southern’s Aaric Murray. It was the second-most points ever scored by a Cyclone. Lafester Rhodes scored 54 in 1987.
“These guys just did a great job of finding me in transition and getting me the ball in places I can score and they were really selfless plays,” Ejim said.
He also set a career high with 18 rebounds. It was the eighth double-double of the season and third straight game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds for the player who entered the day leading the Big 12 in scoring (18.3 points) and rebounds (8.1)
“He is one of my favorite college basketball players in the country this year,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said. “I think he’s really underrated … plays extremely hard and is very efficient.”
Ejim was a one-man gang for most of the afternoon. Only one other Cyclone scored in double figures.
Iowa State (18-5, 6-4 Big 12) was not able to put away TCU (9-13, 0-10) until late. The Horned Frogs cut the Cyclones’ lead to single digits multiple times in the second half.
It took Ejim scoring 20 straight Iowa State points, including two alley-oops and another dunk, late in the second half to secure the victory.
“I kept telling (Ejim to) go out there and get some buckets because he was really keeping us in the game,” Iowa State forward George Niang said. “If you look at it, he is really one of the only guys that shot it really well for us. He was keeping us in the game and willed us to this win.”
The Horned Frogs struggled from the field. They shot 37.5 percent for the game and 29.6 percent in the first half. Anderson led the Horned Frogs with 27 points and forward Amric Fields added 18.
The Cyclones have won three straight, including a 98-97 triple-overtime victory over No. 19 Oklahoma State on Monday. ISU began the season with a program best 14-0 start before dropping four of five early in Big 12 play.
Iowa State jumped out to an 11-2 lead and held TCU to one field goal for the first eight minutes while taking a 32-22 lead into intermission.
Niang finished with 11 points for the Cyclones.
Iowa State will travel to West Virginia on Monday. TCU will face Baylor on Wednesday.
NOTES: TCU has not won a game since Dec. 29, beating Texas Southern 77-64. The Horned Frogs have lost their last 10 games. … Iowa State F Melvin Ejim has scored in double figures in 24 straight games. … Iowa State is 43-4 at home in the last three seasons.
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