Noi’s huge night was overshadowed by an unlikely teammate - Ahmed Hamdy had a big stretch that had the crowd chanting his name. Ultimately, the Frogs got a massive win, and now need to do the same for the next three.
Oklahoma State scored the first nine points of the game and led by as many as 12 points before the Horned Frogs finally found their stride. Down 14-2, TCU fought back to take the lead at 29-28 on two Brodziansky free throws with 4:53 to play in the first half and stayed on top the rest of the half.
The Horned Frogs led 39-36 at halftime thanks to a 12-of-17 showing from the free throw line and shooting 46.4 percent from the floor, a number brought down when they made just 1 of 8 shots from beyond the arc.
This is an elite offense - when they commit to getting stops, they are tough to beat.
But TCU’s shooting woes turned around just as quickly and the Frogs led by three at halftime after making 13 of their final 20 shots to close out the half. TCU trailed 21-11 midway through the first half but outscored OSU 28-15 the final 11:24 of the half. The Frogs took their first lead 29-28 on Vladimir Brodziansky’s two free throws with just under five minutes left in the first half.
”I don’t know about the first 10 minutes but I’m proud of our guys in the last 30,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “It was fun to watch and fun to see us compete and fun to see us respond. I challenged them and tried to get the team out there that I believe we are.”
TCU kept the hot hand and kept getting hotter in the second half. The Frogs went on a 17-2 run late in the second half to pull away.
Jamie Dixon and Mike Boynton should go have a drink together. They can relate.
“It’s one of the hardest things to do as a coach when you aren’t as sure from a night-in to night-out basis what you’re getting from your group, and that’s where we are right now,” Boynton said. “I’m not sure from our group what type of resilience we’re gonna have on a night-in, night-out basis.”
Still without consecutive conference victories, the Cowboys (15-12 overall, 5-9 Big 12) find themselves likely needing to win their final four regular-season games to earn an at-large bid to the tournament. Road victories against Kansas and West Virginia have buoyed those hopes.
Both teams earned a sweep against their opponent Saturday, as Pebley’s squad bolstered their resume as well.
The Frogs (17-9, 8-7 Big 12) constructed a 17-point lead, 47-30, by halftime against Kansas State (13-3, 5-10) and the deficit never dropped below a dozen points in the final two quarters.
Junior forward Amy Okonkwo came off the bench to lead TCU with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and a game-high 10 rebounds in 23 minutes. Jordan Moore added 16 points in addition to 12 from Amber Ramirez and 11 from Toree Thompson.
GCU wants to look like TCU, have the TCU stadium experience, and win like TCU. They aren’t quite there yet.
Like a fight that ends a New Year’s Party, the celebration for all the promise and expectations at Grand Canyon abruptly came to a stop. The Lopes gave up three runs in the ninth inning as No. 7 TCU showed the resolve that has helped it make four consecutive trips to Omaha. Josh Watson hit a two-run triple and scored on a sacrifice fly to push the Horned Frogs to a 3-2 victory. It sucked the collective breath out of the Grand Canyon fans.
Not a bad start for the Frogs in AZ.
Junior outfielder Josh Watson, batting cleanup, was the offensive star of the game, reaching base five times, scoring four runs, walloping a homer and driving in three. TCU (2-0) led 9-0 after four innings and would go on to pound out 15 hits.
Watson’s bat wasn’t the only sizzling stick for TCU. Connor Wanhanen and Adam Oviedo had three hits apiece while Zach Humphreys and A.J. Balta each clubbed two. All four players also drove in two runs.
This is an unfortunate story for a program that had its first new coach in three decades. Now they will need to find another.
TCU swimming and diving coach Sam Busch has resigned after less than six months on the job. Busch was placed on paid administrative leave several weeks ago while the TCU athletic department “conducted an internal inquiry into program rules, policy and procedure violations,” according to a press release from the school.
The exact program rules and policy violations TCU was investigating have not been released. TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati declined to comment, but he offered a statement in the school’s Friday night release.
”Coach Busch cooperated with our internal inquiry,” Donati said in the release. “After reviewing the facts with us, he decided to resign. I have accepted his resignation, and we wish him the best in his future coaching endeavors.”