Opportunity after opportunity presented itself for TCU to cut into a 10 point Iowa State lead in the second half, but missed free throws cost TCU dearly in the second period.
The Frogs shot a season-worst 40 percent from the free throw line as Iowa State grabbed a 63-50 victory at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum Saturday afternoon.
"Our margin for error is so slim, it really puts pressure on kids to make open shots and to make free throws," TCU head coach Trent Johnson said. "It's about mental toughness. We had two turnovers at the half, and we finish with 11. You have to stay the course."
TCU played well for much of the first half, but the final five minutes of the half cost the Frogs as Iowa State outrebounded TCU 7-1 in the final five minutes of the first half.
Iowa State capitalized on those extra opportunities and finished the half on a 14-4 run to carry a 36-26 lead into the locker room.
"I told the guys in the timeout, here is where we have collapsed, and they went on a 14-4 run right before half," Trent Johnson said.
Johnson also attributed the 14-4 Iowa State run to a defensive change Iowa State made against the TCU big men.
"Well our post guys, we run offense to create angles for them. Devonta [Abron] and Adrick [McKinney] have been able to score and it's surprising people. They [started] to double down on the post and make them passers."
McKinney and Abron have struggled passing the basketball this season which Johnson says is a skill Abron must improve in the offseason.
The second half presented key opportunities for the Frogs to cut into the Cyclone lead, but the Frogs could not string together enough makes to cut into the TCU lead.
The Frogs shot 36.4 percent on the afternoon compared to 50 percent for the Cyclones who were led in scoring by sixth man Tyrus McGee who had 16.
The Frogs continued their defensive success as they continue to lead the Big 12 in opponent points per game allowed.
Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said the physicality of TCU is what makes their defense difficult to play against.
"They're physical. It's a style that is pretty unique in our league," Hoiberg said. "They chuck you. They hit you, and they're good on the glass."
Trent Johnson said he does not feel frustrated instead the word is "annoying."
"I will say this again. I hate playing slow, but we will play as fast we can play well," Johnson said. "With our [lack of] depth, we can't run up and down with anyone. The best thing that gives us a chance to compete is to take our time."
"How about our lack of depth? Right now we are five league games in, and I would like to put Kyan Anderson back in the game, but if we're running up and down...he may not make it."
Head coach Trent Johnson feels his team is getting better at executing the game plan that they must play to win in the Big 12.
"We're getting better; we just haven't won a game yet," Johnson said. "Any more questions? I've got to get on a plane to go recruit."
TCU travels to West Virginia Wednesday for a 6:30 p.m. game that will be televised on ESPN2.