Ames, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - Big 12 Conference action continues on Saturday afternoon, as the struggling TCU Horned Frogs pay a visit to the 16th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones.
TCU is mired in a nine-game losing streak, with each setback coming against a conference foe, and the team has just nine wins all season long. The Horned Frogs battled intrastate rival Texas earlier in the week, but fell at home in a 59-54 final. It was certainly one of the better defensive performances by the squad this season, but the loss dropped it a game under .500 at home (5-6). The Frogs are in the same boat on the road as well (3-4).
Iowa State had been one of the real surprises in college basketball during the non-conference portion of its schedule, but Big 12 play has a way of bringing a team back to reality, and the Cyclones sit at 5-4 in conference coming into this matchup. ISU had endured a four-game losing streak after staking claim to a 14-0 start, but the squad has gotten back on track with three straight wins, the most recent of which being a triple-overtime thriller at Oklahoma State this past Monday, 98-97. The Cyclones are 10-1 at home this season.
TCU has won five of the previous eight meetings between the two schools, but the Cyclones swept the season series in 2012-13. The teams will meet again in Fort Worth on Feb. 22 to wrap up the regular-season series.
TCU's biggest issues are at the offensive end of the court, as the club is putting up just 65 ppg in hitting 41.1 percent of its total shots, which includes a 32.5 percent effort from 3-point range. The team features three double-digit scorers in Kyan Anderson (15.1 ppg, 4.8 apg), Amric Fields (13.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and Brandon Parrish (10.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg), while a guy like Karviar Shepherd (7.2 rpg, 41 blocks) does most of his damage at the defensive end. Foes are netting just 68.8 ppg, but the Frogs are being beaten on the glass by nearly seven caroms per contest. They do however, force almost 13 turnovers per outing.
Fields tallied team-highs of 16 points and eight rebounds in TCU's recent loss to Texas, as the team made good on only 32.7 percent of its total shots, despite draining seven treys. Anderson added 12 points and Parrish 10 more, but the Frogs only came up with 25 rebounds compared to a whopping 56 for the Longhorns. They did a tremendous job of limiting UT to 31.0 percent field goal efficiency, which included just a 5-of-18 showing from beyond the arc.
Iowa State doesn't have the same problem as its counterpart today, as the Cyclones light up the scoreboard to the tune of 85.1 ppg, which ranks them among the national leaders. There are four players currently averaging double figures, led by Melvin Ejim and his 18.3 ppg. Not just an offensive threat, Ejim is also among the team leaders in rebounds with 8.1 rpg, as well as steals with 24. DeAndre Kane (16.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 6.0 apg, 32 steals), Georges Niang (16.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and Dustin Hogue (11.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg) have all produced at a high level for ISU, which gives up 73.0 ppg. Kane is making a strong case for Big 12 Player of the Year as he has excelled in virtually every facet of the game.
Kane came within a whisker of logging a triple-double in the three-overtime win at Oklahoma State, as he finished that marathon with 26 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Ejim tacked on 22 points and 13 boards, Niang had 17 points and both Hogue (10 points, 13 rebounds), and Monte' Morris (10 points, five assists) were in double digits as well. As a team, Iowa State nailed 10 3-pointers to only four for the Cowboys.