FORT WORTH, TX - TCU dropped a heartbreaking loss at home to Kansas on Big Monday, 82-77. The Frogs fought back from 12 points down in the second half, and had a four point lead with less than a minute remaining in regulation before falling to the Jayhawks in overtime.
Desmond Bane led TCU with 18 points to go with 7 rebounds, and Kendric Davis added 16 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds as TCU falls to 17-7 on the season, and 5-6 in Big 12 play.
“It is what it is, I’m really proud of our guys for battling back. Being down like that in the second half and coming back shows a lot about our guys.” Bane said after the game. “This was a game that we should have won.”
Jamie Dixon echoed that sentiment as well, “Obviously we’re disappointed in the finish. We had our opportunities, had our chances certainly in regulation where we were in a position to win the game but we didn’t get it done.”
After scoring 31 points against TCU earlier this season, Dedric Lawson was held to just 14 points on 6-16 shooting before fouling out in the overtime period. TCU trapped him hard all night, forcing other Jayhawks to beat them.
Devon Dotson and Ochai Agbaji answered the call, combining for 45 points and 21 rebounds as they led Kansas to their 8th conference win of the season.
TCU jumped on Kansas early, running out to a 7-0 lead in the first minute and a half, forcing the Jayhawks to call a timeout. Desmond Bane hit a three, Alex Robinson had a nice dish to Samuel, and the Scholly was as loud as it has been all season.
Ochai Agbaji and Devon Dotson stepped up for Kansas in the early going, as the Jayhawks were without LaGerald Vick for their second game. The two starters combined for 19 points early for Kansas, as the perennial Big 12 champ weathered TCU’s opening salvo.
Meanwhile, the Frogs struggled offensively after starting 4-4 from the floor, making just four of their next 15 attempts, that, coupled with some strong rebounding by Kansas, and the Frogs trailed 26-20 with 7:00 left in the first half.
Kendric Davis, hero of the Iowa State win last Saturday, wouldn’t let TCU get any further behind, though. He went on a personal 7-0 run to put the Frogs back ahead, 27-26.
Two minutes later Davis led a fast break, and after driving and collapsing the defense, he dished a beautiful pass to Alex Robinson who drilled the corner three.
All in all, Davis poured in nine points in the remainder of the first half, and dished out two beautiful assists, as the Frogs entered the break tied at 37 with the Jayhawks.
The second half saw Kansas pull out to as much as an 11 point lead, on the backs of Agbaji, Dotson, and Dedric Lawson. Meanwhile, TCU started the half 6-21 from the floor, and couldn’t buy a basket to save their lives.
With Kansas up 63-52 with 6:42 remaining, TCU finally figured things out offensively. Desmond Bane was stellar in the second half, and Kendric Davis continued to make incredible plays over and over again. The Frogs managed to climb back into it, going on a 15-2 run to reclaim the lead at 67-65. Davis slashed to the lane again, and kicked it out to Robinson who hit the three with 2:48 left.
It was at this point that I thought Schollmaier was going to collapse from the noise.
With 2:08 left in the game, Mitch Lightfoot fouled JD Miller, sending him to the line. Miller made both freebies, putting the Frogs up 69-65, and getting Miller to the 1,000 point mark for his career. Miller is the third Frog to reach that mark this season, and 38th in TCU history.
“JD has done a lot of good things for us throughout, and has gotten better,” Dixon said about the senior forward, “It’s been great to watch him get better and do a lot of things for us versatility wise, being able to play both spots [the 4 and 5] for us, and he brings great energy for us too as well.”
TCU went conservative on offense in the final minutes, while Kansas managed to get two good looks at the rim to tie the game at 69. KJ Lawson’s basket with 25 seconds left gave TCU the ball for a chance at their second game-winner in three games.
Unfortunately, the play TCU ran was defended perfectly by Kansas. Alex Robinson got stuck in the paint, and Kendric Davis wasn’t able to get a good look as time expired.
“We ran four early, so I’m supposed to drive off the left side of a man.” Robinson noted afterward, “They just kind of played it the right way.”
Kansas scored the first five points in overtime to jump out to a 74-69 lead. Kouat Noi made a circus shot and got the foul, Dedric Lawson’s fifth of the game, and made the free throw to pull the Frogs to within two.
From this point on, TCU did a tremendous job of getting to the rim and drawing fouls. Davis and Miller both made it to the line multiple times, but untimely free throw misses doomed TCU in the end. Both Davis and Miller converted just 2-4 from the charity stripe in the final two minutes of the extra frame.
Meanwhile, Devon Dotson made his final six free throws of the night as Kansas iced the game away.
TCU has the rest of the week to prepare for their next home game, when they host Oklahoma this Saturday at 11am.