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January 19, 2013

Cyclones get needed win at TCU

File it under T.C.O.B. Iowa State took care of business at TCU Saturday afternoon, beating the Big 12's worst team on its home floor, 63-50. The Cyclones improved to 3-1 in conference play and 13-4 overall with the victory. ISU returns to the state of Texas on Wednesday night for a Big 12 game at Texas Tech.

Iowa State did what it needed to do to beat lowly TCU, but it didn't do much more than that. And if the Horned Frogs could shoot free throws, the Cyclones would have been very much at risk of being upset in Fort Worth.

In a way, the outcome was no longer in doubt after ISU finished the first half on a 14-4 run to lead 36-26 at intermission. But in another, the matter wasn't settled until a Korie Lucious bucket with 1:40 to play put Iowa State up by 10 again and stymied TCU's final realistic chance to win the game.

The Cyclones led by 15 points on two occasions midway through the second half, but could not go beyond that to finish off the Frogs early. A Tyrus McGee three-pointer made it 49-34 with 12:11 left in the game. A Percy Gibson lay up at 9:58 made it 51-36. TCU scored five straight points to pull within ten at 51-41, answered by a Chris Babb three with 6:58 left in the game to make it 54-41.

TCU got the margin under double figures at 58-50 with 2:17 to go. That set the stage for Lucious' drive into the lane and score that made it 60-50 with under two minutes to play.

The Horned Frogs made only 9-of-22 free throw attempts in the game and missed several opportunities to cut into Iowa State's lead when the Cyclones hit an offensive lull in the second half.

Iowa State shot an even 50 percent from the floor (28-of-56), but hit only 5-of-18 (28 pct.) three-point attempts. Conversely, ISU had one of its best offensive games inside the arc, making 23-of-38 two-point shots (60.5 pct.) The Cyclones only shot three free throws in the entire game, making two of them. Iowa State bested TCU in overall rebounding, 38-33, but TCU did rack up 17 offensive boards.

ISU also battled the turnover bug that plagued it earlier in the season. The Cyclones had as many turnovers as they did assists: 16.

McGee came off the bench to lead Iowa State scoring with 16 points. Will Clyburn had 12 points and Georges Niang and Melvin Ejim each had 10. Ejim also recorded 12 rebounds to give him his eighth double-double of the season.



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