TCU came out ready to compete against the Jayhawks as the teams went blow-for-blow in the 1st half. Kansas went into half with a 40-39 lead, but both teams were nailing shots from behind the arc and the Frogs were doing a much better job in the paint and seemed to want it more in the first 20 minutes. TCU, led by Kenrich Williams, dominated the glass, outrebounding Kansas 26-17. The Frogs had as many offensive rebounds (11) as Kansas had defensive rebounds, meaning TCU was pulling down half of their own missed shots. They also had assists on 10 of their 15 made field goals and only turned it over 5 times.
Aside from Kenny Hustle, it was Alex Robinson and Jaylen Fisher starring for the Frogs. Robinson had 10 points in the 1st half and Fisher added in another 8. Brandon Parrish and Desmond Bane each contributed 6 points off the bench. For the Jayhawks, Carlton Bragg stole the show with some thunderous put-back slams. Bragg had 8 points and 5 rebounds off the bench for Kansas. Frank Mason and Josh Jackson also played well, scoring 13 points and 9 points, respectively.
Out of halftime the teams seemed to be heading for a 2nd half much like the 1st. Devonte’ Graham started to get it going early in the half and the momentum began to swing to the Jayhawks. A ferocious alley-oop from Mason to Jackson ignited the crowd and the game started to get away from TCU. Kansas slowly extended their lead, eventually growing it to 11 with 8:28 to go in the game. The Frogs struggled to get anything to fall in the 2nd half and weren’t creating any second chances. On the other end, the Jayhawks were finishing possession after possession with strong dunks or free throws. Ultimately, #3 Kansas and the Phog were too much to overcome and the Frogs fell 87-68.
Alex Robinson was the most productive offensive player for TCU, scoring 15 points on 6/11 shooting. However, it was the four Kansas players in double-digits that led the way. Mason had a game-high 20 points and Graham added in another 17. Jackson finished with a double-double, scoring 15 points and pulling down 11 rebounds, and Bragg scored 15 points off the bench to go along with 7 boards.
Although TCU couldn’t get it done in Lawrence, losing on the road against the #1 team in the RPI won’t hurt the Frogs’ postseason chances much in the grand scheme of things. They will likely drop out of the projected field for the next week or so, but TCU can get back in with victories over Kansas State and Oklahoma. They also would likely need to beat either #12 West Virginia this weekend or get a win at the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City.
The Mountaineers come to Fort Worth this Saturday. The game is at 1 pm and will be televised on ESPN.