Matchup against TCU hopes to provide resume-builder for Cyclones


Photo: Suhaib Tawil/Iowa State Daily

ISU forward Melvin Ejim takes a breath as he prepares to shoot a free throw in the Cyclones’ game against Kansas State on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones won 73-67.

Dean Berhow-Goll

After the 89-86 loss to Texas on Feb. 13, that marks the third loss on the road in Big 12 play that came down to the wire for the ISU men’s basketball team. 

Now that Iowa State (16-7, 6-5 Big 12) has five Big 12 losses, the players understand the sense of urgency with a dwindling number of games left with which to build its resume. 

“We can’t let one loss turn into two,” said ISU coach Fred Hoiberg after his team’s fifth Big 12 loss. “If we continue to fight like this we are going to come out good in some of these games. We have lost three absolute heartbreakers on the road to some very good teams.

“We have to go take care of our home court and try to find a way to steal these last few road games.”

Iowa State starts a three-game stretch against Big 12 teams in the middle to bottom half of the Big 12 on Feb. 16 against TCU — a team that has one win in Big 12 play. 

That single win, however, came against then-No. 5 Kansas in a 62-55 slugfest on Feb. 6.

TCU is led by Kyan Anderson and Garlon Green, who are both just into the double-digit mark for points per game. 

Aside from the third close loss on the road in the Big 12, Iowa State improved in two key areas that Hoiberg called the difference in the 79-70 loss at Kansas State: turnovers and rebounds. 

Iowa State committed its second-fewest amount of turnovers in the Big 12 and by far the fewest on the road at Texas with eight. Going into the Feb. 6 game, the team was averaging 15 on the road. 

Iowa State also improved rebounding. Kansas State scored 20 points off of second chances, 17 of which came in the second half. 

Against Texas, Iowa State was still out-rebounded, but it only allowed nine offensive rebounds in 50 minutes and accumulated 19 on the offensive glass on its own. 

Melvin Ejim, who finished the Texas game with a team-high 20 points and 16 rebounds, urged that the team needs to have a short memory to move on in the Big 12. 

“You have to have short memory, if you can’t do that you won’t be able to play at the collegiate level,” Ejim said. “You have to put it behind you.”