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TCU 96, Iowa State 73: Robinson leads Frogs with record-setting performance

TCU rolls the Cyclones thanks to a school-record 17 assists from Alex Robinson.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Texas Christian Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Fort Worth, TX - TCU moved to 2-4 in conference play, and 14-4 on the season, with a dominant 96-73 win over Iowa State on Wednesday night. In the midst of the blowout, a clean-shaven Alex Robinson set a new school record with 17 assists, as he played 38 minutes.

“It’s all credit to my teammates. Assists is a stat that depends on others,” said Robinson after the fact. Robinson also protected the ball well, turning it over just once, and he scored eight points as well.

Robinson’s performance was clutch in and of itself, but it becomes even more significant when you consider that TCU lost starting point guard Jaylen Fisher, possibly for the season, to a right knee injury in practice on Tuesday.

Of course, like Robinson said, he wouldn’t record many assists if his teammates didn’t make shots, and they did that tonight in droves. Vladimir Brodziansky led the way for the Frogs with 26 points, while JD Miller added 21, Kouat Noi dropped 16, and Kenrich Williams added 11. Williams also pulled down 11 rebounds for TCU, his eighth double-double of the season, but just his second in Big 12 play.

Three players led the way for Iowa State, but their depth let them down in this game. Donovan Jackson scored 19 points for the Cyclones, while Cameron Lard and Lindell Wigginton both scored 16 points. Beyond those three, though, the rest of the Cyclones roster managed to score just 22 points.

As a team TCU shot 60.3% from the floor, and 48% from three point range, while recording 29 assists and just four turnovers. The Frogs also out-rebounded Iowa State 30-27.

TCU jumped out to an early lead against Iowa State, thanks to quick starts for JD Miller and Kouat Noi. The two forwards combined for 13 of TCU’s first 17 points, as the Frogs found themselves up by as much as 18 points in the first nine minutes of the game.

Vladimir Brodziansky got in on the action as well, with some great plays around the basket, as TCU’s offense came out firing on all cylinders, despite the absence of Jaylen Fisher in the lineup. The Frogs found themselves up 28-10 in the early going, before a 9-0 run by Iowa State (with all points scored by Donovan Jackson) helped Iowa State get back into the game.

JD Miller’s hot shooting, coupled with Alex Robinson’s great vision and ability to get to the rim, helped TCU survive the quick scoring burst from Iowa State. A big three and a layup from Miller, a layup from Robinson, and some great ball movement allowed TCU to maintain their lead, and extend it back to 13 at 40-27 with 3:52 left in the half.

The Frogs would continue to hold a 12-13 point lead to the end of the half, and would carry a 47-35 lead into halftime. Despite missing Fisher, the Frogs would have 15 assists in the first 20 minutes of the game (on 18 made baskets) to just two turnovers. Robinson would lead the way, with nine assists and zero turnovers while playing all 20 minutes in the first half.

Miller picked up where he left off as the second half opened, as he drilled a three pointer to give TCU a 50-37 lead. Iowa State would continue to battle, though, and a jumper from Jackson would cut TCU’s lead to 54-46 with 16:20 left in the game. The Frogs would maintain an eight point lead for several minutes, before a Shawn Olden three would push TCU’s lead to 59-48.

The Frogs would continue to pull away thanks to some fantastic play from Robinson and Brodziansky, as the two connected on several more plays to help TCU pull to 70-53 with 11:34 left in the game.

Vlad continued to destroy Iowa State from down low, breaking the 20-point barrier with two free throws after a missed dunk, pushing TCU’s lead to 77-59 with exactly 10 minutes to go in the game. A strong drive from Desmond Bane would give TCU their 78th and 79th points of the night, and the Frogs took a 79-61 lead into the under-eight timeout.

The Frogs and Cyclones would trade baskets for most of the remainder of the game, with the biggest question remaining in the waning minutes being whether or not the Frogs would break the century mark. They wouldn’t, but they still sent a message that despite the 1-4 start to Big 12 play, the Frogs are a team to be reckoned with.

TCU heads to Manhattan, Kansas next, where they’ll face the 13-5 Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday, at 3pm CT.

Kansas State most recently shut down Trae Young and Oklahoma, defeating the Sooners 87-69. Iowa State, meanwhile, hosts Texas Tech on Saturday.