Desmond Bane led the charge for TCU on Wednesday night, as the Frogs upended Iowa State 89-83 for their first win in Ames in 35 years. Bane scored a career-high 27 points and pulled down five rebounds, helping TCU improve to 19-9 on the season, and 7-8 in Big 12 play. The win also marks the first time this season that TCU has won back to back Big 12 games.
It’s also the first time TCU has reached the seven-win mark in Big 12 play, with their previous best being six wins last season.
Alex Robinson added 18 points, six rebounds, and six assists, while Kouat Noi contributed 17 points and six rebounds. Kenrich Williams pulled down nine rebounds and had five assists, offsetting his 1-7 shooting night.
Iowa State was led by Donovan Jackson, who scored 27 points just days after the unexpected death of his father. Jackson, who spoke emotionally about his dad after the game, led a short-handed Cyclones team without starters Solomon Young and Nick Weiler-Babb.
TCU and Iowa State played each other close through the first eight minutes of the contest, before the Cyclones used an 18-7 run to claim a 36-25 lead with just over seven minutes remaining in the half.
Iowa State was paced in the first half by Jackson, who scored 17 first-half points while helping the Cyclones to a 47-41 halftime advantage.
The Frogs would pull out all the stops in the second half, though, shooting 18-27 from the floor and 10-11 from the free throw line. TCU opened the half on a 15-4 run that took their deficit and turned it into a 56-51 lead, less than five minutes into the half.
TCU relinquished the lead just briefly in the second half, at about the midpoint of the half, but two Vladimir Brodziansky free throws put TCU ahead to stay with 9:43 remaining in the contest.
TCU never led by more than seven points in what was a consistently tight contest, but TCU showed it had the toughness to go on the road and get a big conference win. Bane would score TCU’s final six points, including four free throws in the final 33 seconds, to help TCU get the W.
Yes, the loss drops Iowa State’s record to 13-14 on the season, and just 4-11 in Big 12 play, but they were 9-5 at home heading into Wednesday’s contest with wins over Texas Tech, West Virginia, and Oklahoma in Hilton Coliseum.
The Frogs now have just three games remaining: vs. Baylor, vs. Kansas State, and @ Texas Tech. Winning two of the final three would give TCU a 9-9 record in conference play, their best by far in the Big 12, and would boost their NCAA Tournament resume to the point of them being almost a lock.
TCU hosts Baylor on Saturday at 11:00am, so everyone needs to get their coffee and their breakfast tacos and get to the Scholly that morning ready to rock. This team is so close to achieving what we hoped for them at the beginning of the season, and we need to show up for them these last two home games.