Dallas, TX – DeAndre Kane and Georges Niang had the answers for Iowa State. Kane scored 20 points, and Niang chipped in 19 points and eight rebounds as the 17th-ranked Cyclones kept the Horned Frogs winless in the Big 12 with a 71-60 victory Saturday. Niang had two three-point plays in the last five minutes to help build a lead, and Iowa State (21-5) finished the day in a three way tie with Texas and Oklahoma for second place in conference.
TCU guard Kyan Anderson, who averaged 26 points in his past four games, scored 18 points to lead the Horned Frogs (9-17). They are now 2-30 in the conference in their two Big 12 seasons.
Melvin Ejim, the Big 12 scoring leader (19 ppg) scored 14 after setting a Big 12 record with 48 in Iowa State’s 84-69 win over at TCU in Des Moines two weeks ago. He never really had a chance to challenge his record this time around, picking up two fouls in the first six minutes and playing only ten minutes in the first half. Ejim however did have a hand in the play that gave the Cyclones their first double-digit lead, picking up the ball after Kane knocked it away from Anderson and throwing a long pass back to Kane for a layup with 2:34 remaining in the first period.
Once Iowa State erased TCU’s early ten-point lead, the teams weren’t separated by more than three points until Ejim converted inside to put the Cyclones ahead 54-50 with nine minutes left in the game. The Iowa State lead was cut to two points after a driving layup by Anderson, but Kane answered inside on the other end to start a 10-1 run for the Cyclones.
The first three-point play for Niang came when the TCU bench thought the strong forward should have been called for charging on freshman center Karviar Shepherd (14 points, 15 rebounds, one off his career high). Niang also had another three-point play when he was fouled by reserve TCU guard Christian Gore on a short turnaround from the baseline. The free throw put Iowa State up 67-58 with 3:11 remaining.
Ejim is Iowa State’s top player and the on-court senior leader for the Cyclones. After scoring the conference-record 48 points two weeks ago against the Horned Frogs he figured to be a marked man Saturday on the road for the No. 17 Cyclones. The 6-foot-6 forward averages 19.1 points, but totaled just 19 in consecutive games before he turned in his second-highest effort of the season with 25 in Tuesday’s 85-76 home win over No. 19 Texas. It was part of a balanced attack as Iowa State showed why they are one of the fastest scoring teams in the nation.
Guard Kane and forward Niang are two other top players for the Cyclones offering ample minutes, points and rebounds for the fast paced team. The Cyclones feature an up-tempo style of play with Kane as the catalyst as he starts numerous fast breaks looking to get his teammates involved in their up-tempo offense. All three players have high upside and potential and we will be watching them as the season reaches the tournament stage.
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