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TCU 65, Texas 61: Frogs hold on at home

TCU upends Texas to get back to .500 in conference play.

Kouat Noi had a monster put back jam to close the scoring in the first half.
Melissa Triebwasser

FORT WORTH, Texas - Both teams hit a pair of threes early in the game, and it was a back and forth affair for most of the first half. Trailing 12-8, TCU fired off a 9-0 run to lead 17-12. The run was capped by a Kendric Davis three.

Texas immediately responded with an 11-2 run of their own to pull ahead 23-19 at the 8:40 mark, as TCU’s defense got sloppy. The Frogs struggled to close out on several three point shots, as Texas starting clicking offensively.

The teams would combine to score just 11 points over the next 4:46 of game time though, as both defenses started playing a bit tougher, and forcing a few turnovers.

The difference in the first half for TCU was Kouat Noi. After missing Saturday’s game against Kansas State with the flu, Noi poured in 13 points, helping TCU to a 35-31 lead at the break. A combination of good three point shooting, aggressive drives to the rim, and 4-5 from the free throw line reminded fans quickly of why Noi is so vital to this squad.

TCU decided to get the big men involved to open the second half, and after a JD Miller layup, Kevin Samuel had three dunks on three consecutive possessions for the Frogs. Meanwhile, the defense started to lock in, and the first five minutes were capped with a highlight reel block from Desmond Bane.

Leading 43-36, TCU got buckets from Bane and Robinson, pushing their lead to 48-36. It felt at that point like TCU had a chance to step on Texas’ throat. A 7-0 run by Texas, capped by an Elijah Mitrou-Long three that had Noi stumbling backwards, forced a TCU timeout and cut the Frogs’ lead to five.

TCU wouldn’t lead by more than seven until the 5:04 mark, when Desmond Bane started to assert himself. Struggling shooting for the night, Bane hit two ridiculous layups in traffic in a row to push TCU’s lead to 62-54.

Texas would continue to fight, as a 5-0 run by Jase Febres cut the Frogs lead to three with two minutes remaining. A big layup from Alex Robinson pushed TCU’s lead to 64-59, but Jaxon Hayes cut that to 64-61 with a layup, with 23 seconds remaining.

TCU held off a desperate attempt by Texas to get off a three, and JD Miller pulled down a crucial rebound with 0.6 seconds left in the game.

Miller then hit one of two free throws, sealing the 65-61 victory.

The Frogs are back in action Saturday at 11:00 AM, when they host Florida as a part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.