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Frogs Beat Fresno State 66-59, advance to round 2 of NIT

TCU had to grind it out, and they did what they needed to to get the W.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Championship-Kansas vs TCU Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Frogs are officially a 20-win team with a 66-59 hard-fought victory over Fresno State. With the win, TCU advances to the second round of the NIT. They’ll face the winner of the Iowa-South Dakota matchup. If Iowa wins, TCU will head to Iowa City, if South Dakota wins, TCU will host the game. Either way, the game will take place on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

TCU won despite Fresno State shooting 46.7% from deep on the night, thanks, in large part, to stellar defense in the paint and a solid rebounding night.

The Frogs out-rebounded the Bulldogs 39-28, with five Frogs pulling down at least four boards. Kenrich Williams led the way for TCU, with 10 boards, and 13 points.

Alex Robinson had a fantastic night, scoring 14 points on 5-8 shooting, pulling down five rebounds, and handing out five assists. In all, nine Frogs got in on the scoring action.

TCU found themselves ahead by 12 midway through the first half, but a push from Fresno State to end the half had the Frogs leading 30-25 at the break. Both teams started the second half slowly, as turnovers threatened to match buckets made. TCU held on to their lead all the way until the 11:49 mark of the second half, when a Bryson Williams jumper gave Fresno State a 43-42 lead, their first and last lead of the night.

TCU promptly pulled back ahead with a 5-0 run, and once the game was tied at 47 TCU pulled away for good. The Frogs started a 13-2 run at the 9:28 mark, giving them a 60-49 lead with 5:16 remaining. Sloppy play late slowed the scoring significantly, but TCU made just enough free throws to maintain a comfortable lead and win the game.

The Frogs got some seriously quality minutes from Chris Washburn tonight, who collected six points, four rebounds, two steals, and a block in 16 minutes. He fouled out, but he was a big body down low, and saw minutes while Shepherd was in foul trouble. He also earned some time over Vlad Brodziansky, who didn’t see the floor for much of the second half, as TCU went with a smaller lineup.

The Frogs as a team shot just 41.2% from the floor on the night, had 19 turnovers, and just 16-29 from the free throw line, but their rebounding margin and three point shooting saved them. 17 turnovers by Fresno State helped the Frogs’ cause as well.

So, TCU survives to play on Sunday. This game was great for the young guys, who had to really gut it out, and continuing their postseason lives does nothing but get them valuable experience.