A losing streak is guaranteed to end Saturday in Ames, Iowa, when Big 12 Conference counterparts TCU and Iowa State meet at Hilton Coliseum.
Host Iowa State (2-17, 0-14 Big 12) heads into its second-to-last home game of the 2020-21 season on a 13-game losing skid -- but with some hope to finish strong in its final four games of the regular season.
The Cyclones took No. 2-ranked and unbeaten Baylor to the final minutes, losing a 77-72 decision in Waco, Texas, on Tuesday. Iowa State led at halftime 37-32.
"We've got to be a little bit better to finish," Cyclones coach Steve Prohm said. "Losing sucks. Losing's tough. Losing's hard. But that team I coached tonight, it was a lot of fun coaching that group."
Tuesday marked Iowa State's third loss during February by five or fewer points. Included in that stretch was a 79-76 defeat at TCU on Feb. 9.
The Horned Frogs (11-10, 4-8) are winless since then, losing three straight. TCU dropped a 74-66 decision to 10th-ranked West Virginia on Tuesday in its last outing.
TCU sent West Virginia to the free-throw line 33 times in the loss. The Cyclones shot 24 free throws last time against TCU, however, making 21 in the three-point decision. Rasir Bolton went 13-of-13 from the line en route to 26 points.
The Horned Frogs went to the line 31 times in the last meeting, however, a byproduct of their dominance on the glass and in the interior. TCU outscored Iowa State in the paint, 34-20, and pulled down 21 offensive rebounds to the Cyclones' 11.
TCU gave up 13 offensive rebounds Tuesday against West Virginia, but got only three of its own.
"We need them to be more physical, more aggressive, especially on the defensive end and that's what we're trying to get to," TCU coach Jamie Dixon said in his postgame press conference. "I'm certain we'll come out and practice hard."
RJ Nembhard, who scored 20 points in the last meeting with Iowa State, scored 17 against West Virginia, meeting his season-long, 16.8-point per game average.
Tyler Harris, who scored just six in the previous matchup with TCU, led Iowa State with 22 points against Baylor. Bolton paces the Cyclones with 16 points per game.
--Field Level Media