Georges Niang scored 27 points, Abdel Nader had 24 and the 13th-ranked Cyclones held off TCU 92-83 on Saturday to move within a victory of their fifth straight 20-win season.
Burton tied a career high with 23 points and set a career-best 14 rebounds for the Cyclones (19-8, 8-6 Big 12), who never trailed despite playing without center Jameel McKay.
McKay, averaging 11.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, sat out because of what the team said was a coach’s decision. McKay was suspended for two games earlier this month for violating team rules but was available against the Horned Frogs.
“It was my decision. That’s it,” coach Steve Prohm said, adding that McKay will also be available for Monday’s game at West Virginia. “It’s no more, no less.”
Freshman forward JD Miller had 19 points and 11 rebounds in his first career start for TCU (11-16, 2-12), which remained winless in Big 12 road games. Malique Trent scored 17 and Chauncey Collins had 16.
“We’re trying to win as many games as possible as fast as possible,” coach Trent Johnson said. “I take no consolation in games like this.”
Iowa State’s most recent loss — a 100-91 overtime defeat at No. 25 Baylor on Tuesday that would have been a win had Monte Morris’ late 3 been shot a half-second earlier — was its third OT loss on the road this season. Those defeats will likely be the ones that cost the Cyclones even a share of the Big 12 title.
Iowa State let TCU hang around before securing a victory that kept it within a game of second place.
The Cyclones jumped ahead 22-10 and appeared ready to cruise to a blowout win. But TCU rallied with the 6-foot-9 McKay on the bench, as Trent stretched the Cyclones’ defense with four early 3s to pull the Horned Frogs even at 24.
Iowa State rallied late in the first half, with Nader hitting a 3-pointer for a 44-36 halftime lead.
“He turned into Steph Curry overnight,” Niang joked about Nader, who was 5 of 8 from 3-point range.
Two 3s by Matt Thomas early in the second half put the Cyclones ahead 59-42, capping a 15-6 run. They let TCU get as close as 67-60 before Burton’s jumper made it 86-73 with 2:36 left.
Still, Iowa State was outrebounded 43-31 — and 20-5 on the offensive glass — against a Horned Frogs team ranked last in the Big 12 in rebounding margin.
TCU: Trent elbowed Niang in the face late in the first half but helped him off the floor and apologized before Niang shot the ensuing free throws. … The Horned Frogs have dropped their last eight against Iowa State.
Iowa State: The Cyclones honored Nader and Morris before the game for passing 1,000 career points. … Niang and TCU’s Brandon Parrish exchanged words after Parrish fouled Niang midway through the second half.
TCU, averaging just more than five made 3s per game, hit 11. … Niang was 11 of 15 from the floor before fouling out with 2:22 left. … Though Burton is listed as a guard by the Cyclones, he’s 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds and is, at times, their most physical presence in the paint. … Iowa State had four starters play at least 34 minutes.
“Can I go now?” Johnson said at the conclusion of his postgame news conference, yet another one following a road loss in league play.
TCU plays at Texas Tech on Wednesday.
Iowa State plays at No. 10 West Virginia on Monday.