The last time TCU saw Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim, he was having, one of the best, if not the best, single-game performances in Big 12 history. The senior forward scored 48 points on 20-of-24 shooting and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds in the Cyclones’ 84-69 victory on Feb. 8 in Ames, Iowa.
In his next three games, however, Ejim came back to earth, making 16 of 31 shots combined, including 1-for-9 and a six-point effort in a loss at West Virginia two days after beating the Horned Frogs.
Ejim, who is averaging a Big 12-best 19.1 points a game, came up big again in No. 17 ISU’s win Tuesday over No. 19 Texas. He scored 25 points and hit two free throws to clinch the victory.
The Frogs (9-16, 0-13 Big 12) are running out of chances to get a league win.
ISU (20-5, 8-5) needed every bit of Ejim’s historic performance to beat TCU two weeks ago. The Frogs never went away and only trailed by eight with less than 8 1/2 minutes remaining. Down the stretch, however, TCU hasn’t had a consistent offensive answer in the Big 12.
Kyan Anderson, who has been remarkable early in games, has been stifled in the second half by opponents who haven’t had to worry about other Frogs hurting them consistently with their offense late.
“We have to find out how to get to the next phase against ranked teams,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said. “We can do that if guys can step up and make plays. It happens every time in the second half.”
TCU freshman Brandon Parrish had been an effective offensive option early in Big 12 play, but he has been held to a combined 11 points in the past four games, including an 0-for-5 night Wednesday, his first scoreless game since Nov. 30.
Halftime alumni game
Halftime of Saturday’s game will feature a TCU alumni game that will include former players Allen Tolley (1993), Randy Boyts (1977), Brandon Aldrich (1995) and Darrell Browder (1983).