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TCU 59, Iowa State 70: Shooting woes continue for Frogs

The Horned Frogs went 6-for-18 from the charity stripe as the Cyclones clinched the season sweep on Wednesday.

Syndication: The Des Moines Register Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune / USA TODAY NETWORK

The No. 22 ranked TCU men’s basketball team continued its downward slide down the Big 12 Conference standings and the AP Top 25 rankings on Wednesday, suffering its fourth consecutive loss in a 70-59 defeat at No. 19 Iowa State. The Horned Frogs (17-9, 6-7 Big 12) have fallen in five of their last six games since standout guard Mike Miles Jr. suffered a hyperextended knee during the team’s loss against Mississippi State. TCU will attempt to bounce back with a home matchup against unranked Oklahoma State on Saturday.

TCU’s shooting woes continued on Wednesday, when the Horned Frogs went 5-for-19 from 3-point range as well as an abysmal 6-for-18 from the free-throw line. Despite holding a 20-12 advantage in points off turnovers and an 11-4 advantage in fastbreak points, TCU was unable to contain Cyclone forward Alja Kunc, who broke loose for a game-high 22 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range. Shahada Wells led the Horned Frogs with 15 points and seven rebounds in his return to the starting lineup, while Micah Peavy added 13 points and five rebounds as the 6-foot-7 wing continues to start in place of forward Chuck O’Bannon.

Iowa State cracked the game open with a 13-2 run, limiting TCU to one field goal over the first five minutes of the contest. The Horned Frogs, meanwhile, started the game shooting 1-for-6 from the free-throw line with two players going 0-for-2. Although Eddie Lampkin played 21 minutes off the bench for the Horned Frogs, the center continues to labor through an injured ankle, posting only three points and zero rebounds with three personal fouls. TCU shot under 50 percent overall and was outrebounded by the Cyclones 31-28.

TCU will have five regular season games to recover before beginning the Big 12 Conference tournament. Getting Miles back from his knee injury will be paramount, as the Horned Frogs are in danger of exiting the Top 25 and suffering further damage to their NCAA Tournament resume without him. Fortunately, TCU will have two consecutive home games to get right, with the Cowboys coming to Fort Worth on Saturday before the Horned Frogs battle No. 5 Kansas on Monday in a rare attempt to clinch a season sweep of the Jayhawks.