FORT WORTH (AP) — Iowa State guard Monte Morris’ production over the past five games is right up there with teammate Georges Niang and that came in handy on an off day for the Big 12’s second-leading scorer.
Now Cyclones coach Steve Prohm figures he will need both of them after a brief reprieve in a flurry of Top 10 opponents.
Morris had 18 points and six assists, and No. 19 Iowa State followed up a win over top-ranked Oklahoma and tuned up for a game against No. 3 Kansas with a 73-60 victory over TCU on Saturday.
It was the fifth straight game with at least 17 points for Morris, who is just shy of Niang’s mark of 19.7 points with an average of 19 over a span that includes three straight wins. Niang matched his season low with 11 points against the Horned Frogs.
“We need him to score. We need that other punch,” Prohm said of Morris. “We don’t need Georges to get 11 every night. We need him to get going, especially Monday.”
Matt Thomas scored 15 points in Iowa State’s only game in a stretch of five against a team not currently in the Top 10. After beating a No. 1 team for just the second time in school history, the Cyclones (15-4, 4-3 Big 12) return home to play Kansas on Monday night.
The tough five-game stretch includes another visit to the Lone Star State for the Big 12-SEC Challenge at No. 10 Texas A&M next Saturday.
“Kansas is no different than TCU — Big 12 game,” Morris said. “This is going to be my seventh time going against Kansas. I’m not overwhelmed. We’re going to treat it as another game.”
Chauncey Collins scored 14 points to lead the Horned Frogs (9-10, 1-6), who have dropped four straight since beating rival Texas at home for their earliest Big 12 victory in their fourth year in the conference.
“I get the sense that if we don’t play with a sense of urgency every possession, don’t do exactly what we’re coached to do and told to do, we’re going to struggle against good teams, regardless of where we play and when we play,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said.
The Cyclones started slowly five days after knocking off the Sooners at home but went ahead for good on Morris’ steal and layup during an 11-0 run for a 26-19 lead late in the first half.
Iowa State improved to 7-0 in Big 12 games against TCU despite Niang going just 4 of 12 from the field without a 3-pointer for the first time in a game where he attempted one this season. He also had a season-high seven turnovers, and the Cyclones had 23 to 18 for TCU.
“He’ll tell you he didn’t have a great game,” Prohm said.
Thomas went 3 of 4 from 3-point range, including two just 23 seconds apart for a 52-34 lead with 15 minutes remaining.
Morris was 7 of 11 from the field as the best-shooting team in the Big 12 finished at 54 percent to 39 percent for TCU, which is last in the league in field goal percentage. The Horned Frogs shot below 40 percent for the third straight game.
Iowa State’s Abdel Nader made his only 3-pointer by barely beating the first-half buzzer from the top of the key for a 37-28 lead. He had just enough time to catch, turn and shoot after officials changed the clock from 0.5 seconds to 1.3 seconds following a timeout taken by Prohm.
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
TCU’s leading scorer, 6-foot-10 Slovakian forward Vladimir Brodziansky, was scoreless before halftime, his only attempt a bad miss a 3-point attempt in the final minute of the first half.
Brodziansky scored 12 points in the second half, but it was too late to keep the Horned Frogs from dropping to 7-54 since joining the Big 12, all four of the seasons under Johnson.
Iowa State: Deonte Burton scored 10 points, and Jameel McKay had a game-high 10 rebounds. … The Cyclones have been ranked for a school-record 47 consecutive weeks. … Iowa State heads to Kansas with 20 wins against ranked opponents the past three seasons, which was tied for the most nationally at the start of the day.
TCU: Chris Washburn had 10 points and six rebounds. … The first basket of the game came on the fourth shot of TCU’s second possession. Karviar Shepherd had two straight misses after offensive rebounds before Washburn grabbed a board and finally scored.
Iowa State: Hosts No. 3 Kansas on Monday.
TCU: Is at Texas on Tuesday.
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