Niang Leads Iowa State Past TCU

Georges Niang scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half Saturday to lead Iowa State to a win against TCU

AMES, IowaGeorges Niang did it all Saturday. He spun left and spun right. He used his right hand and then his left. He stepped outside and hit a 3. When Iowa State needed its leader, it didn’t have to look far.

“If there’s a better college basketball player in the country,” TCU coach Trent Johnson offered afterward, “I want to see him.”

Johnson had a pretty good look, watching Niang score 17 of his 23 points Saturday in an offensive-laden second half, which helped propel Iowa State to an 83-66 win against TCU at Hilton Coliseum.

Iowa State committed eight turnovers in a slow-paced first half, but went to the break with a two-point lead. From there, Niang took charge.

“I just think that’s how the game was going,” Niang said. “I felt I needed to be aggressive to get us going. We’re coming out a little flat and I was just trying to create plays to help my team win.”

The Cyclones used a flurry of baskets from Niang to take control as he spun in the lane for the first basket of the half. Iowa State scored a flurry of baskets in the opening minutes of the second half to extend its lead and force a quick TCU timeout.

"We talked about pushing that lead up to double-digits by the first media in the second half and we did that," coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We kept our foot on the gas and got it up to 20. I thought we played much smarter in the second half."

Niang scored nine of the first 21 points for Iowa State out of the break. His 23 points were the most he's scored since he scored 26 against Arkansas on Dec. 4, and also the first 20-point game since then.

In the last two games, Niang has averaged 21 points while shooting 15-of-28 from the field in wins against Texas and TCU.

“I feel like I’m getting in a good rhythm,” Niang said. “The guys are doing a great job of finding in me in spots where I can really be effective. The most credit goes to them. They’re doing a great job of finding me and I’m just making the same shots that I make every day.”

Iowa State, meanwhile, finished off TCU after it watched Texas surge back from a 21-point deficit Monday. The Cyclones led by as many as 20 on Saturday and with the help of 63 percent shooting from the field in the second half, closed out its largest-margin conference win this season.

Monte Morris and Bryce Dejean-Jones each scored 16 points in the win while Dustin Hogue added 12.

“We did a good job of staying together,” Morris said. “We made it hard on ourselves in the locker room and we came out and did the job and kept the foot on the pedal.”

Now Iowa State readies for first-place Kansas on Monday with hopes Niang's stretch will continue.

"He did it all tonight," Hoiberg said. "He’s just catching a little rhythm right now and hopefully he can stay in it."

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