After losing six of their last nine games, the Cyclones badly needed to get back to their winning ways at home against a Mike Miles-less TCU squad. Fortunately, Iowa State got off to a very hot start to the game, as threes by Jaz Kunc and Gabe Kalscheur, as well as some buckets in the paint from Tre King and Osun Osunniyi powered the good guys to an early 15-3 lead.
After Gabe Kalschuer went to the bench with two early fouls, TCU started knocking down shots and clawed their way back to 15-14, but Jazz Kunc hit another timely three to stop the bleeding. Iowa State started playing much better over the next stretch, opening up a 28-21 lead with four minutes to play in the first half.
For the last four minutes of the half, Iowa State continued to defend well and knock down a few more threes on the way to a 35-24 halftime lead.
The Cyclones started the second half strong as well, getting early buckets from Lipsey and Bob Jones as well as threes from Jaz and Jaren Holmes to extend the lead to 47-26. However, TCU started to knock down a few shots and Iowa State’s offense ground to a halt, and the Horned Frogs crawled their way back within single digits by the eleven-minute mark.
However, Iowa State punched back and strung together a few defensive stands to stop the run and extend the lead back to 16 points. But, as we’ve seen with this team many times, no lead is truly safe in an Iowa State game, regardless of which team is in the lead. TCU again scratched and clawed their way back to single digits with two minutes to play in the half. Things got worse as Jaz picked up a flopping call while taking a shot, but TCU missed the free throw. Fortunately for the Cyclones, Jaz Kunc made a few more plays and they close out the game with very little drama.
As mentioned, Jaz had a huge game with 22 points on 5-of-8 shooting from three. Jaren Holmes poured in 16 of his own points. Next up is a trip to Manhattan on Saturday to face Kansas State in a giant showdown for conference seeding as the tournament approaches.