This game was the first time the Horned Frogs (13-2, 2-1 in Big 12) and the Cyclones (12-2, 3-0) met as Top 25 teams. TCU saw its 11-game winning streak snapped while the Cyclones are 3-0 in the conference play for the first time in 23 years.
How Iowa State Won
I wrote on my three thoughts on Big 12 basketball last Monday that the Cyclones need more Gabe Kalscheur.
I like it when I’m ahead of the curve. Roll the tape.
Kalscheur rescued the Cyclones with a step-back 3-pointer with less than two seconds remaining to clinch the win for Iowa State. He finished with 15 points. Three Cyclones had 10 points each — Tamin Lipsey, Robert Jones and Jaren Holmes.
The fact is that for about 36 minutes the Cyclones played EXACTLY the kind of game they wanted. Even though TCU finished the game with 19 fast-break points — close to their nation-leading 21.7 fast break points per game — the Horned Frogs only put up 44 shots (15 fewer than Iowa State did). Iowa State dictated the tempo from the jump, outscored the Horned Frogs in the paint, 44-20, and outrebounded the Horned Frogs, 32-27.
But, in the final four minutes, the Cyclones nearly lost it all. TCU outscored ISU 11-1 in the final three minutes leading up to Kalscheur’s jumper. Iowa State had four turnovers and went without a field goal for nearly five minutes before Kalscheur’s jumper.
So, yes, the Cyclones need more Gabe Kalscheur. Especially when it matters the most, as it did on Saturday.
How TCU Lost
It looked like the Horned Frogs were going to rally back for a third straight Big 12 game. The Horned Frogs were up a point before well, you know, Kalscheur’s jumper.
Despite the job that Iowa State did on TCU defensively, the Horned Frogs made the most of their chances. Just 44 field-goal attempts? OK, TCU made 22 of them (50 percent, and seven were 3-pointers). TCU got to the free-throw line much more than Iowa State (28 attempts to nine attempts). TCU blocked nine shots to Iowa State’s four.
These Horned Frogs don’t lack for confidence or toughness. Mike Miles led with 18 points, while Damion Baugh added 17 points. Baugh also had seven rebounds and five assists.
If there’s any one thing to point to it’s that free-throw percentage. The Horned Frogs did get plenty more free throws than Iowa State, but they didn’t take near the advantage of that disparity that they should have. The Horned Frogs shot just 57 percent from there. The Horned Frogs were shooting 71.4 percent from the line going into the game.
Shoot that season average and TCU wins. Period.
Swing the Leg
TCU got to the free-throw line three different times on three attempted 3-pointers. Miles did it twice in the second half with a, shall we say, questionable leg swing? Yes, he was absolutely contacted on those two plays by Kalscheur and Lipsey, respectively. But, Miles definitely nudged that leg out there.
I agree with Fran Fraschilla on this one. That play needs to be removed from the game. Miles isn’t doing anything wrong per the rules (at least not the letter of it, anyway). But an offensive player shouldn’t be allowed to initiate contact in that way against an airborne defender.
The Lipsey play was especially egregious because Lipsey was doing everything possible to stay on a straight line and avoid contact. Defensive players that make those kinds of plays shouldn’t be penalized for it.
I believe this coming offseason is one where they’ll make a full examination of the rules. I hope that’s on the list.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard