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TCU 87, Texas 71: Frogs thump Texas behind trio of Vlad, Noi, and Bane

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Vlad, Noi, and Bane combined for 60 points to offset TCU’s short bench on Saturday.

TCU Basketball vs Texas 2.10.18
TCU Basketball vs Texas 2.10.18
Melissa Triebwasser

Fort Worth, TX - TCU never trailed on Saturday, as they steamrolled Texas 87-71 behind big days from Vladimir Brodziansky, Kouat Noi, and Desmond Bane. The three starters combined for 60 points for the Frogs, as TCU maintained a double-digit lead for the majority of the second half.

Brodziansky finished with a game-high 25 points, including 17 in the second half, as he went toe-to-toe with Mohamed Bamba and led TCU to a big win. Bamba led Texas with 23 points, but only one teammate, Eric Davis Jr., joined him in double-digit scoring with 16 points.

Noi, who got the start Saturday over JD Miller, finished with 18 points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block, with no turnovers, and no fouls. Bane recorded 17 points and five assists.

The Frogs were without Shawn Olden on the day, who was dinged up against Kansas, meaning that TCU had just seven scholarship players available against Texas. Without Olden, who had seen a significant increase in minutes due to the absence of Jaylen Fisher, the Frogs leaned even more heavily on Alex Robinson, and also asked Kenrich Williams to help handle some point guard duties.

Meanwhile, Kouat Noi got the start over JD Miller Saturday for the Frogs, and he immediately took advantage of the opportunity, going 3-3 from deep in the first 4+ minutes of the game to help TCU pull out to an early 13-8 advantage.

TCU’s defense also flashed early in the game, forcing Texas into a few early turnovers that lead to buckets on the other end. Early on, Texas turned the ball over four times, leading to five points for TCU.

Between Noi, and the aggressiveness of Desmond Bane and Alex Robinson, TCU maintained their lead throughout the first part of the first half, taking an 18-13 lead into the under-12 timeout, with 11:35 left in the half.

TCU’s offense would continue to click, but the perimeter defense struggled to rotate, as Mo Bamba drew TCU’s defensive eyes down low. Some big threes from Texas’ guards allowed them to keep it close, drawing to within three at 22-19, with just under 10 minutes left in the first half.

TCU’s ball movement and aggressiveness on offense would help them hold their lead, though. TCU recorded 10 assists on their first 12 made baskets of the game.

After a Kerwin Roach three would cut TCU’s lead to 29-26, Vladimir Broadziansky would hit a beautiful baby hook over Bamba to extend TCU’s lead back to five, 31-26.

That baby hook would start a 10-3 run for the Horned Frogs over the next several minutes, highlighted by a strong dunk from JD Miller, and three more baskets around the rim from Miller, Brodziansky, and Bane, leading to a timeout from Texas with 3:41 left in the half with TCU up 39-29.

Mo Bamba was doing his best to keep Texas fall further behind, though, as five points out of the timeout, and an emphatic block, would help Texas pull back to 41-35. Desmond Bane would respond with a three, and Noi would get another basket of his own, as TCU pulled out to a 46-35 lead.

TCU would use that run to take a 48-37 lead into the half. It was a fantastic half for TCU offensively, as they shot 60% from the floor and 50% from three point range, while only turning the ball over one time.

Ball movement for TCU was also incredible, as the Frogs recorded 15 assists on 21 made baskets. Mo Bamba recorded 15 points for Texas, as he dragged Texas’ offense forward throughout the first half. Bamba shot 6-7 from the floor in the half, while the rest of his teammates shot just 8-20.

Kouat Noi opened the half by making two free throws, but then a scary moment happened for TCU fans. Going up for a defensive rebound, Noi took an elbow to the side of the head from Texas’ Dylan Osetkowski. Noi would go down, and stay down on the court for a few minutes, before walking off unassisted.

He would return to the game just a few minutes later.

In the few moments of his absence, TCU would get baskets from Bane, Vlad, and free throws from Robinson, to extend their lead to 57-40. Another layup for Vlad would give TCU a 59-45 lead, with 15:09 left in the game.

Texas was bound to make a run at some point, and it appeared like it was going to happen with just under 14 minutes left in the game. Some more great offense from Mo Bamba, and big threes from Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis Jr. cut TCU’s lead to 63-55.

Just when the Frogs needed a big bucket, though, Vlad drilled a three, pushing TCU’s lead back to 11 at 66-55. Texas wouldn’t quit, though, and their hot shooting in the second half continued.

Five straight points from Davis cut TCU’s lead down to 68-60, but another Vlad bucket pushed TCU’s lead back to 10. Two more free throws for Vlad got him over the 20 point mark on the day, and extended TCU’s lead to 72-60. Three more points from Bamba would cut TCU’s lead back down to nine.

Then, the three point floodgates opened up. Kouat Noi hit his fourth three of the day to push TCU’s lead to 75-63. A three from Coleman would cut it back to nine. Kenrich Williams and Desmond Bane hit back to back threes in response, pushing TCU’s lead to 81-66.

Vlad would continue TCU’s offensive surge with another bucket as the clock closed in on 3:30 left in the game, pushing TCU to an 83-67 lead.

The 83-67 score would hold over the next minute and a half, until an Alex Robinson free throw would snap the combined scoreless streak with 2:02 left in the game. His two free throws would push TCU to their biggest lead of the day at 18, 85-67.

The Frogs kept Texas from doing much of anything else in the final two minutes of play, as a Davis basket with 17-seconds left cut TCU’s lead to 87-71, which ended up as the final score.

TCU moves to 17-8 on the season and 5-7 in Big 12 play, a win made even bigger by the fact that the other two teams sitting at 4-7 in the conference entering Saturday, Oklahoma State and Baylor, both beat Top 25 Big 12 opponents Saturday.

So, there’s now a logjam at 5-7 in the Big 12, as TCU, Texas, Oklahoma State, and Baylor all sit at two games below .500, in the 6th-9th spots in the conference. Iowa State, 4-8 in the Big 12, beat Oklahoma in Ames on Saturday as well, as the bottom half of the conference dominated the top half.

The Frogs, meanwhile, record another win over a Top-40 KenPom opponent to help their NCAA Tournament resume, but there’s still work to be done. The Frogs have a quick turnaround to their next game, which comes this Monday in Morgantown, against West Virginia.

With just six games left in conference play (@ West Virginia, Oklahoma State, @ Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas State, @ Texas Tech) the Frogs can’t afford to take a breath quite yet.