Iowa State came in to Fort Worth looking to move into a three way tie for second place and give Fred Hoiberg his 83rd win at the helm. They accomplished the feat but not without their typical flair for the dramatic.
A slow start resulted in a quick 10 point lead for TCU that the Cyclones chipped away at for the remainder of the first half before finally taking a 32-30 lead in to halftime off a great pick and roll with Monte Morris and Georges Niang.
Iowa State shot an abysmal 1-11 from behind the arc (that's 9%) with the lone trey coming from Matt Thomas. That inability to stretch the floor coupled with TCU's slower pace of play kept the game from blowing wide open until Niang decided to play the old man game and go the traditional three point route late and help the Cyclones pull away.
With the win Iowa State moves to 21-5 on the season and 9-5 in the Big XII. A loss by Texas against Kansas tonight will result in a three way tie between Iowa State, Texas, and Oklahoma for second in the Big XII. If things were to end today the Cyclones would get the 3-seed in the conference tournament after splitting with the two other teams, but Texas' win over Kansas in Austin would serve as the first tiebreaker.
However, there's a lot of basketball to be played yet and Iowa State will return to Ames to host West Virginia on Wednesday night at 7 PM.
If you're looking for perspective on this win there are two nuggets to consider. First, this is the first time since the 1965-68 seasons that Iowa State has won three or more conference road games in three consecutive seasons.
Second, is this:
Melvin Ejim has played in 81 wins as a Cyclone, two shy of the school record of 83 set by Jacy Holloway (1994-97). #Cyclones— Cyclone Basketball (@CycloneMBB) February 22, 2014