McGee scores 16, Iowa State pulls away from TCU

FORT WORTH, Texas – All it took was a visit from mom to help Tyrus McGee snap out of his shooting slump.

McGee scored 16 points off the bench, Will Clyburn added 12 and Iowa State beat TCU 63-50 on Saturday for its third straight victory.

McGee came in shooting 36 percent in Big 12 play, including a 2-of-9 outing Wednesday night against West Virginia. The 6-foot-2 guard had his mother in the stands, and the senior responded by scoring 13 points in the first half and keying a 14-4 run late in the half that broke open a close game.

“That’s my mom,” said McGee, who is from Stringtown, Okla., a town of about 400 that is 150 miles north of Fort Worth. “I always give my best when she comes.”

The Cyclones (13-4, 3-1 Big 12) are off to their best start in conference play since starting 4-0 in 2000.

Despite Iowa State’s recent run, coach Fred Hoiberg is still bothered by a 97-89 overtime loss at No. 4 Kansas on Jan. 9. The Jayhawks banked a 3-pointer to force overtime and eventually toppled the Cyclones.

“I look at it like we should be 4-0,” Hoiberg said. “It’s still a tough one to swallow. We’d be in an awesome position. But I still like where we are right now.”

Melvin Ejim had 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Georges Niang scored 10 points after hitting the game-winner against West Virginia.

“We did a solid job guarding them,” Ejim said. “It was good to get a road win.”

TCU (9-9, 0-5) has lost five in a row by an average of 13 points. The Horned Frogs haven’t been 0-5 in conference play since 2002, when they were a member of Conference USA.

Garlon Green, Devonta Abron and Charles Hill Jr. scored 10 points each to lead TCU.

Neither team led by more than three in the first 14 minutes. The game was tied before Iowa State went on a 14-4 run over the final 6:11 of the first half. McGee hit an off-balance bank shot to put the Cyclones on top 24-22, then added a 3-pointer from the top of the key and a dunk off a Korie Lucious steal to stretch Iowa State’s lead to 10.

Percy Gibson then put back a McGee miss, giving Iowa State a 36-26 halftime lead. The Horned Frogs, the conference’s lowest-scoring team at 56 points per game, missed nine of 10 shots in the final 7 minutes of the opening half.

McGee hit 7 of 13 shots to lead the Cyclones.

“He’s a guy that can heat up at any moment,” Hoiberg said. “He was coming off a tough game. He had a great couple of days in practice. I thought Tyrus was terrific.”

TCU never got closer than eight points in the second half.