After close loss after close loss, and slow start after slow start, TCU played a solid game from start to finish on the road against Oklahoma State to earn their fourth conference victory of the season. The win, which pulls the Frogs to within one game of .500 in the Big 12, is the first for TCU at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
It was a total team effort from Jamie Dixon’s squad, who bounced back from one of their worst defensive efforts of the year to hold Oklahoma State well below their season scoring average of 78 points per game. TCU got a balanced scoring attack on the offensive end, led by Alex Robinson and Kenrich Williams, who dropped 13 a piece. Robinson, who was ten assists away from tying Jamie Dixon for eighth all-time at TCU, had just four Tuesday, and fouled out of the game with two minutes left to play. He also had seven turnovers, and it’s a testament to the Frogs’ depth and versatility that they were able to overcome his somewhat off night to earn a crucial victory on the road. Williams joined the thousand point club on the night, and was just one rebound shy of a double-double.
The Frogs got a good night from Desmond Bane, who scored 12 points on 4-8 shooting and made his only three point attempt. Vladimir Brodziansky added ten and six, but had only six field goal attempts, while Kouat Noi was huge off the bench with 12 points. Ahmed Hamdy was solid in his return from illness, dropping nine points and hauling in four boards, while Shawn Olden had an impact with five points, three boards, and two steals in 18 minutes.
Oklahoma State was led by Jeffrey Carroll’s 18, one of four Cowboys in double digits. TCU out-rebounded the Pokes by 11, 37-26, but lost the turnover battle 20-16. Both teams drained eight treys, and in a nice change from Saturday, TCU got to the free throw line - hitting on 11 of their 15 attempts
For the first time in what felt like forever, the Frogs scored first, when Desmond Bane hit from behind the arc on the game’s first possession. It was a tight game throughout the first twenty minutes, with neither team taking more than a six point advantage, which was TCU’s advantage at the half. The Frogs quickly stretched their advantage to double digits in the second frame, leading by as many as 16 as time wound down. But the Pokes fought back, and were within six in the final minutes. Unlike past games, though, Dixon’s unit was able to step on the gas down the stretch, and turned a tight game into one they controlled easily as the seconds ticked away.
TCU desperately needed this win, and to steal one of the road, as they enter the second half of Big 12 play. The Frogs host Texas Tech on Saturday in another huge matchup, as they will need to hold serve on their home floor to hold on to their Dance bid.