Big win for Cyclones over TCU
By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer
AMES — Iowa State has made Hilton Coliseum uncomfortable again.
Naz Mitrou-Long had 15 of his 25 points in the first half and Iowa State beat TCU 84-71 Saturday to move into a three-way tie for second in the Big 12.
Monte Morris added 18 with 11 assists for the Cyclones (17-9, 9-5 Big 12), who joined Baylor and West Virginia in second — three games behind Kansas.
Iowa State has done so in part by winning its last two at home by 28 combined points after letting its Big 12 opponents hang around even in wins in Ames.
“That’s when you want to play your best basketball, late in the season. I definitely feel like we’re starting to do that. We’re putting some complete games together,” Mitrou-Long said.
Iowa State used a 16-1 run late in the first half to go ahead by 10 at the break. The Horned Frogs (17-9, 6-8) closed within three midway through the second half, but Morris — who notched his ninth career double-double — drilled a 3 to make it 68-53 with 6:32 left.
Deonte Burton scored 18 points for the Cyclones, winners of four out of their last five games.
Morris also had a pair of steals to tie Jeff Hornacek for the school record.
“We were very good,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “We can get better.”
Alex Robinson had 16 with eight assists for TCU, which has lost three straight after winning three in a row. The Horned Frogs turned it over on their first five possessions and finished with 19.
“The turnovers really put us in a hole to start the game,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “We’re getting pushed around, and we’ve got to do something about it.”
THE BIG PICTURE
Iowa State: The Cyclones are now in position to earn a high seed in the upcoming Big 12 tournament. Iowa State won the league tournament twice under former coach Fred Hoiberg, and a strong showing there could help the Cyclones improve their NCAA seeding. Kansas likely has the Big 12 title sewn up yet again.
TCU: The Horned Frogs are now in danger of dropping five straight in February with a trip to Kansas and a game with West Virginia next weekend. That would not look good in the eyes of the NCAA tournament selection committee. TCU entered play on the bubble for an at-large bid.
FROM THE BACK
Junior point guard Donovan Jackson had 11 points in just 15 minutes, cracking double figures for the fifth time in seven games. That’s a promising sign for Iowa State’s future, since Jackson is slated to start next season when Morris goes pro. Jackson also had two assists to help Iowa State set a high for a conference game with 19.
Iowa State plays Texas Tech on the road Monday. The Red Raiders might have tired legs after losing in double overtime to West Virginia on Saturday.