It was a free-flowing first half of offense, as TCU and Iowa State traded buckets in a hot shooting 20 minutes for both teams. With only three fouls called in total through the entirety of the opening frame, an enthusiastic crowd at the Schollmaier was treated to some quality basketball.
Led by Brandon Parrish, who drained a trio of treys on his way to 13 first half points, and Jaylen Fisher, who racked up seven assists through twenty minutes and hit a three at the buzzer, the Frogs took a 44-41 lead into the break.
Iowa State came on aggressive in half number two, getting their hands on a ton of passes and forcing several early turnovers. But TCU was able to play through the initial surge and maintain just a little distance between them and the Cyclones through the first several minutes. A key sequence unfolded early in the second stanza, as the Frogs played their best defensive stretch of the game in blocking multiple shots and forcing turnovers as they stretched the lead to seven on back to back dunks by Fisher and Kenrich Williams. The Frogs were earn a nearly two minute possession just moments later, as they pulled down three consecutive offensive rebounds and knocked the ball off an ISU player leading to a Parrish layup and a 58-54 lead With 16 minutes to play.
Iowa State continued to stick around, never letting TCU get out to more than an eleven point lead and keeping it within two scores through the majority of the game. But after a first half that saw him struggle a bit, Vladimir Brodziansky came alive in the second, scoring on a myriad of inside moves and dominating the glass on both ends of the floor. He, combined with Kenny Hustle doing Kenny Hustle things, helped keep the Frogs in front as time wound down in the game.
Alex Robinson, who couldn't buy a bucket in the first half with a gold bar, hit a pair of crucial buckets in the later stages of the game, coming up big in transition and maintaining his status as an offensive threat to allow things to stay open for the hot-shooting Parrish, Bane, and Vlad. Though TCU cooled off considerably from outside, the work in the paint became the difference maker, as they dropped two thirds of their points in the purple.
The Cyclones has no answer for Vlad as time wound down - when they clogged the lane, he stepped out and hit jumpers from deep - and he absolutely dominated the stretch run. With so much attention on the TCU big man, guys like Williams, Parrish, and Robinson were able to get good looks at the basket and keep the Frogs ahead. Taking their biggest lead of the night to that point, at 75-65, with just five minutes to go off of a flagrant one and pair of Vlad FTs, TCU went to a delay offense trying to slow the game down and keep Iowa State from having the scoring opportunities they needed to get back in it.
A Kenny Hustle trey at the the three minute mark, followed by a Vlad board in traffic - drawing a foul - brought the crowd to life and put Iowa State in dire straights. With the Frogs up 11 and less than three to play, ISU put in a fill court trap, leading to a quick 5-0 run, as Fisher missed a free throw, Parrish a layup, and Robinson and Bane turned the ball over during the course of five possessions for TCU. Clinging to a 78-72 lead, Kenny seemed to get a clean steal, but was called for a foul, sending Burton to the line. After draining the pair, cutting the lead to four, the Frogs looked to Vlad to stop the bleeding, and he delivered - dunking the ball off a beautiful Fisher drive and dish. Consecutive turnovers by the Clones led to back to back dunks from Williams and Bane, and the TCU lead was back up to eight with just 16.1 showing on the clock.
Iowa State missed a three and tip with just seconds to play, and the Frogs prevailed, 84-77 to get over .500 for the first time ever in Big 12 Conference play, owning a 3-2 record. The Frogs were led in scoring by Vlad, who had 25 on 11/14 shooting and added 14 rebounds. He was one of four Frogs in double figures; Kenny Hustle went for 13 points and 13 boards, Bane had 12, and Parrish finished with 15. Iowa State was led by Naz Mitrou-Long’s 19.
Next up for the Frogs is Texas Tech Wednesday in Lubbock, followed by Baylor at home Saturday night, as TCU will try and win consecutive games and garner their second conference road win of the year.