TCU faced a tough task heading into Saturday's game against No. 16 Iowa State. The Cyclones had won three of their last four games -- all against ranked Big 12 foes -- while senior forward Melvin Ejim had score at least 20 points in all three of those wins.
But the Horned Frogs surely weren't prepared for what Ejim had in store on Saturday.
Iowa State's 6-foot-6 star notched a Big 12 single-game record with 48 points while also grabbing 18 rebounds as the Cyclones sunk TCU 84-69. Ejim's scoring output ties Texas Southern's Aaric Murray for the most points in an NCAA game this season. Murray tallied 48 points in a win over Temple on Dec. 18.
Ejim wasn't just prolific in his scoring -- he was ruthlessly efficient. He connected on 20 of his 24 field goal attempts, including perfect marks from the 3-point line (2-for-2) and free-throw line (6-for-6). Ejim's 20 made field goals also marked a Big 12 single-game record, a product of a night spent mostly above the rim throwing down a number of dunks and alley-oops.
Prior to Saturday, Ejim's previous season-high was 22 points, a mark he'd hit on five different occasions this year.
Ejim's double-double put him in elite company in the Big 12. According to ESPN's broadcast, the last three Big 12 players to score at least 35 points and haul in 15 boards were Oklahoma's Blake Griffin (2008-09), Kansas State's Michael Beasley (2007-08) and Texas' Kevin Durant (2006-07). But Ejim's career day in Ames even made a mark when compared to the NBA.
The senior helped Iowa State grab its fourth win in five games. The Cyclones hit 53 percent of their shots, though no other player scored more than 11 in the win.