A solid defensive performance wasn’t enough to overcome Kansas at home, as TCU came up on the wrong end of a back and forth affair in Lawrence Tuesday night. TCU, which shot 40% from both the field and the three point line - but went cold down the stretch - squandered a golden opportunity to pick up a momentum shifting win at the hands of the third top ten team they have faced in the last eight days.
TCU started hot, making five of their first nine threes, as both Kouat Noi and Desmond Bane came out firing. But Noi finished just 4-11 from deep - though he did lead the team with 17 (13 in the first half) and Bane had only two attempts from deep and six overall, finishing with 12 points on 4-6 shooting and 2-2 from behind the arc. As Jamie Dixon has pointed out again and again, they have to find a way to get him more shots - he’s one of the most efficient and dangerous scorers in the conference when he gets loose.
The Frogs got 15 and eight from Vladimir Brodziansky, but Williams and Robinson combined for just 14 points and JD Miller was scoreless in 18 minutes of play. The Frogs out-rebounded Kansas 38-37 and lost the turnover battle by just one (12 to 11), but the Jayhawks turned 23 trips to the free throw line into 16 points while TCU was just 8-15. Neither teams was great from deep on the night; TCU finished 10-25 (that’s way too many three point attempts in a game like this) and Kansas was a paltry 7-21. The Frogs did a much better job sharing the ball, wracking up 16 assists on the night, including nine from Alex Robinson, who passed Jame Dixon to move into sole possession of eighth place all-time in the category.
The Jayhawks got big games from Devonte’ Graham (24 points, including 5-11 from three) and Udoka Azubuike - who at one point had three dunks in a 90 second stretch on his way to a double-double (16/11).
Though it was a pretty even game statistically, Kansas made winning plays down the stretch, while TCU let a few golden opportunities slip away. It was a nice bounce-back performance after Saturday’s home embarrassment at the hands of Texas Tech, but not enough to pull off an upset on the road.
The Frogs will need to regroup once again before hosting Texas Saturday in what is basically a must-win game to keep their tourney hopes alive. Tonight would have certainly helped their cause, but the loss doesn’t hurt them too much - no one really expected them to win. Holding serve at home, and stealing a win at Iowa State, is the recipe toward earning a dance bid for TCU.