TCU got out to a hot start in the first half of the NIT Championship game, running out to a 10-0 start and holding Georgia Tech without a field goal for several minutes. TCU got great production from Vladimir Brodziansky and JD Miller during their run, as the pair combined for 12 quick points.
Georgia Tech, not known for their offense, missed their first six shots of the game, as the Frogs ran out to a 15 point lead before the 14 minute mark hit. But the Yellow Jackets weren’t going to go away quietly, and used their defense to climb back into the game. TCU went through a cold stretch of their own in the middle of the first half, and a defensive adjustment by the Yellow Jackets led to a 10-0 run to close the scoring gap. When GT went to man-to-man, TCU struggled to find the bucket, earning a pair of shot clock violations and turning it over for a pair of run out dunks by the Jackets.
But TCU continued to fight through offensive adversity, holding Georgia Tech at bay and relying on their dominance on the glass on both ends of the floor to maintain a double digit lead through most of the frame. As Vlad cooled off some, JD Miller and Kenrich Williams went to work, attacking the paint and forcing Georgia Tech to make some tough decisions on D. Even when the shots weren’t fouling, TCU kept being the aggressor, drawing fouls on offensive rebounds and getting to the free throw line.
Meanwhile, the Jacket’s best player, Ben Lammers, struggled on offense after committing a pair of early fouls. The junior, who averages nearly a double-double with 14.4 points and 9.3 boards per game, was held in check by a combination of Vlad, Miller, and Karviar Shepherd in the first half, as he went just 1-7 in the first half for five points and four rebounds. GT was picked up by Todrick Jackson off the bench, as they generally are, as the human spark plug went off for 12 first half points. On the other side, TCU played nine guys through the first 20 minutes, eight of whom scored. The Frogs were led by Vlad’s 10 points, Millers nine points and five rebounds, and Hustle’s eight and seven. The Frogs shot 45% from the field and went 10-13 from the free throw line, though they were 0-6 from deep. Alex Robinson dropped in four assists and accounted for four steals, but had four turnovers as well. They out-rebounded GT 22-18 and held the Jackets to just 33.3% shooting, though they did hit on a pair of threes to keep things close. Georgia Tech has some foul trouble to deal with, as Lammers has a pair and his backup, Ogbonda, has three.
The second half is just moments away... keep it right here as the Frogs look to close out their first ever NIT Championship!