In early January, Monte Morris followed a career best game in which he scored 30 points against Oklahoma State with one of the worst performances in his career, in which he scored just 9 points on 14 shot attempts in a loss against the TCU Horned Frogs. On Saturday night, Morris was not going to let that happen again, as the Cyclones soared to an 84-71 victory in sweet redemption
Despite a slow start in which the Iowa State scored just 12 points in the first 10 minutes, the first half went the Cyclones’ way as the entered the break with a 39-29 lead, hitting their final six field goal attempts.
Nazareth Mitrou-Long had the hot hand, shooting 5-8 from behind the arc while also grabbing four boards. Morris also had a great half, scoring 10 points and having five assists. Darrell Bowie was the forward who took charge this half, scoring four points on three rebounds and a steal, while Solomon Young and Merrill Holden provided no stats, other than each recording two fouls.
The key to Iowa State’s first half success was limiting TCU’s stud Vladimir Brodzianksy to just two points while forcing the Horned Frogs to turn the ball over 14 times, a great achievement considering on average TCU turns the ball over 13 times a game. The lone bright spot for TCU was sophomore guard Alex Robinson, who went 4-4 from the field, scoring nine points and dishing out five assists.
The second half started with a different feel. TCU started with a three from Brodzianksy, and it became apparent the Horned Frog game plan was going to be to give Vlad the ball. For the next 10 minutes, TCU had moments of slowly crawling back in, but every time they made it appear like it could be a close game, Mitrou-Long, Morris, Deonte Burton, or Donovan Jackson would drill big threes to keep the Cyclones at a safe margin.
It was Jackson who used a flashy pass to find Morris in the corner to blow the roof off of Hilton. Minutes later, Jackson found Young for an alley-oop, and the Cyclones were able to coast in the final minutes and clear the bench for an 84-71 victory.
Mitrou-Long led all Cyclones with 25 points, seven 3-pointers, and also led the team in rebounds with seven. Burton and Morris each had 18 points, while the latter also had an 11 assists for a double-double. Jackson was a star off the bench, hitting two threes and scoring 11 points.
Iowa State held Brodziansky to 11 points, though all TCU starters scored in double figures. The Cyclones forced 17 TCU turnovers, shot 18-21 from the free throw line, and tied the Horned Frogs with 28 rebounds.
With the victory, the Cyclones are now tied for second in the Big 12 standings with Baylor and West Virginia.
Iowa State looks to continue its win streak Monday night, as Steve Prohm and company head to Lubbock to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.