The Horned Frogs ran into a shooting barrage Saturday night in Ames, Iowa, as the Iowa State Cyclones avenged their early-season loss to TCU in with an 84-71 win.
TCU’s 19 turnovers, combined with Iowa State’s 12 three-pointers and 18 made free throws snowballed into what was a game that was never really that close despite TCU cutting the lead to just three points with about eight minutes left in the game.
“The turnovers really put us in a hole to start the game,” TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said.
However, the real culprit in the Horned Frogs’ defeat was the disparity at the free throw line.
“We can’t let a team shoot 21 free throws and we shoot eight,” Dixon said. “We have to get more free throws and we have to get more physical.”
Although TCU led the Cyclones 23-20 with five minutes left in the first half, ISU utilized a 16-1 run with 4:54 left in the first half to 1:19 left before halftime to jump out a 36-24 lead that they never surrendered.
Most of the points on the game’s defining run came from ISU senior guard Nad Mitrou-Long, who had 15 of his game-high 25 points in the first 20 minutes. The majority of Long’s points came from the behind the arc, as he hit seven of ISU’s 12 three-pointers.
“Long was no surprise, he can make threes,” Dixon said. “They just got us back for the win down there.”
Foul trouble also played a part for TCU, as forward Vladimir Brodziansky picked up two quick fouls in the game’s first ten minutes, and forward Kenrich Williams ended up fouling out of the game completely.
“All of our big names had two fouls in the first few minutes which changed the game,” Dixon said.
Even when Brodziansky was in the game for the Horned Frogs, he only shot the ball eight times, finishing with 11 points.
“Vlad was taking jump hooks and fading away, he’s just getting pushed off the block down low, and he’s catching the ball way too far out now,” Dixon said. “The last four or five games, we’ve been getting pushed around and we have to do something about it.”
Although TCU’s big men had a rough game, Alex Robinson Jr. had a solid performance with a team-high 16 points and eight assists. Robinson has now recorded at least four assists in all but four games this season.
The Horned Frogs next game is in Lawrence, Kansas on Wednesday in a rematch against the Kansas Jayhawks. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at the Allen Fieldhouse.