A month ago, Iowa State held off TCU late to escape with a 63-50 win at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.The Cyclones were 3-1 and in the thick of the Big 12 title race. Four weeks later, ISU (16-8, 6-5 Big 12) is in sixth place after two consecutive losses, and looking to regain some of its momentum.And for the Cyclones, there's no better place than their home court. They've won 20 in a row at Hilton Coliseum, where TCU (10-14, 1-10) plays at 12:45 p.m. today. It's the fifth-longest streak in the nation, and ISU is the only Big 12 team perfect at home (13-0) this season.It's not as if the Cyclones haven't been competitive on the road. They've lost three league games after last-second shots, including a double-overtime loss Wednesday at Texas. Seven of their eight losses have been by nine or fewer points. They lead the Big 12 and rank seventh nationally in scoring (78.6 points per game)."We like to get out in transition, and the biggest thing we try to stress and work on is spacing the floor properly," ISU coach Fred Hoiberg said this week. "It all goes back to spacing. If we space it the right way, No. 1, it's going to give our playmakers lanes to make plays, and two, it's going to open up shots for our shooters."Those shooters include ISU's starting five, who all average over nine points a game. Among them is guard Chris Babb, who transferred from Penn State after attending Arlington Oakridge. He's made 16 of 27 3-pointers in his last five games to help the Cyclones lead the league and rank third nationally in 3-pointers per game (9.3).TCU leads the league in 3-point defense.The key for TCU in slowing down the ISU offense is to literally slow them down. When the Cyclones struggle, they're not moving. That was the case in a 56-51 loss at Texas Tech. It was ISU's lowest output of the season by 12 points, after their 63 points at TCU four days before."We just got so stagnant," Hoiberg said. "The ball movement and player movement wasn't where it needed it to be. If you make a play for your teammate, whether it's running to the rim, or getting out wide and running to the lane, somebody is going to be open, if you do it the right way, and do it right every time. Our guys have bought into that and I think that's why we've had a pretty solid offense for the most part this season."This is TCU's third game in Ames and first since 1982. The Frogs are coming off one of their worst offensive performances of the season, a 75-48 loss Monday at Oklahoma.Stefan Stevenson817-390-7760Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs
TCU men at Iowa St.
12:45 p.m. today
Records: TCU 10-14, 1-10 Big 12; Iowa State 16-8, 6-5
Radio: KCLE/1460 AM; KTCU/88.7 FM