- Associated Press - Saturday, February 8, 2014

AMES, Iowa (AP) - TCU’s Kyan Anderson considered the question, which seemed logical considering the circumstances.

Suppose Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim had not gone off like he did with his Big 12-record 48 points on Saturday. Could TCU have finally won a conference game?

“It’s hard to say that,” Anderson said after his team’s 84-69 loss to the 16th-ranked Cyclones. “He had that game and that’s just what we were dealt.”

Anderson, who led the Horned Frogs (9-13, 0-10 Big 12) with 27 points and eight assists, said his team made a special effort to rebound and felt the Horned Frogs held their own in that area, even though Ejim pulled down a career-high 18 for his 30th career double-double.

But it came down to the Horned Frogs’ inability to contain Ejim around the basket. The 6-foot-6 senior made 20 of 24 shots, including two 3-pointers and six dunks. One of the slams came on a spectacular fast-break lob from DeAndre Kane and gave the Cyclones (18-4, 6-4) a 67-52 lead, effectively putting the game out of reach.

“It’s not every day that somebody comes out and scores that many points,” Anderson said. “It was a good job on their part. They felt like they had a mismatch and they abused it and that’s what they got. I definitely tip my hat to him.”

Ejim scored 20 straight Iowa State points during one stretch in the second half and topped the previous conference record of 44 points by Kansas State’s Denis Clemente in 2009 and the Wildcats’ Michael Beasley in 2008. His previous high had been 23 points against Oklahoma last season.

Iowa State’s school record is 54 by Lafester Rhodes in an overtime victory over Iowa in 1987.

The Cyclones needed Ejim’s points because TCU kept matching them basket for basket down the stretch. That’s why Ejim stayed in the game until there were 19.9 seconds remaining, when he left to a lengthy standing ovation.

“We probably played about as well as we have in spurts,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said. “We battled. For us to be within striking distance with about four minutes to go, I can’t fault what our kids did.”

Georges Niang added 11 points and Kane finished with 10 assists for the Cyclones, who avoided a letdown after their thrilling three-overtime victory at Oklahoma State on Monday, their first win in Stillwater since 1988.

Amric Fields scored 18 points and Karviar Shepherd had 11 for TCU, which was coming off single-digit losses to Texas Tech and No. 15 Texas, but could not keep up with the Cyclones and the high-flying Ejim, who hiked his Big 12-leading scoring average to 19.8 points.

The game was expected to offer a break for the Cyclones after they played four straight against Top 25 teams and eight in a row against teams that were ranked at one time or another. But the Horned Frogs proved to be a little more stubborn than anticipated despite a horrible start.

TCU gave up the ball on a shot clock violation on the game’s first possession, Dustin Hogue followed with a 3-pointer and Iowa State led from then on as the Horned Frogs missed nine of their first 10 shots.

Despite some sloppy play at times, the Cyclones built a 16-point lead late in the first half, then had the lead whittled to seven before Ejim went on his tear to wrap it up.

TCU shot 29.6 percent in the first half and did not have more baskets than turnovers until Anderson hit the second of two straight 3-pointers with 45 seconds left in the first half, cutting the lead to 32-22.

“It starts on the defensive end for us,” Anderson said. “Anytime that we can get going on the offensive end and we’re clicking on defense, I feel like we give ourselves a pretty good chance to win in any game.”

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