It was all Kenny Hustle in the first half, with a hefty dose of Alex Robinson in the second. Ultimately, it took a team effort to pull away from a Fresno State unit that had just enough runs in them to keep things interesting.
Kenrich Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his 15th double-double this season and TCU defeated Fresno State on Wednesday night in a first-round NIT game on Wednesday night.
In the second round, TCU, a No. 4 seed, will play Iowa, a No. 1 seed, in the next round. Iowa defeated South Dakota 87-75 Wednesday night.
Alex Robinson scored 14 points with five assists for the Horned Frogs (20-15), who held on to win despite missing 4 of 8 free throws in the final 1½ minutes and 16 of 29 for the game.
Every time Fresno State made a run, TCU answered. Twice, the Bulldogs tied it, but only once did they take the lead - and the Frogs responded so quickly at that point it was moot anyway.
Fresno State has fared well in the grind-it-out game, not only this season but the past two or three. The Bulldogs will muddy a game, try to take this or that or both away from their opponent and make every possession matter.
They were there again Wednesday at Texas Christian in the first-round matchup in the NIT but ran into trouble inside of nine minutes to play and could not recover, their season coming to an end with a 66-59 loss at Schollmaier Arena.
We know now that the Frogs will be on the road for the second round, but should they upset the #1 seed Iowa Hawkeyes, they could be in line to come back home with a trip to NYC on the line.
Even better news for TCU: Richmond (No. 6 seed) and Oakland (No. 7 seed) pulled first-round upsets of Alabama and Clemson, respectively, in Tuesday night games. That eliminated the No. 2 seed (Clemson) and No. 3 seed (Alabama) from the Frogs’ quadrant.
If TCU can advance to the third round, the Frogs are guaranteed to play in Fort Worth for a winner-take-all game that would determine whether they earn a spot in the NIT semifinals, which begin March 28 in Madison Square Garden.