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Men’s Basketball: TCU stuns No. 2 Houston after last-second layup

The Horned Frogs had an ugly first half, but improved their performance in the second half for a back-and-forth battle, securing the win in the last six seconds with a layup from Emanuel Miller.

NCAA Basketball: Houston at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Horned Frogs had an ugly first half, but improved their performance in the second half for a back-and-forth battle, securing the win in the last six seconds with a layup from Emanuel Miller. Miller led the team with 13 points, three rebounds and five assists.

TCU struggled in the opening minutes of the first half, missing shots and not playing great defense. Houston applied heavy pressure on TCU, preventing them from scoring in the paint.

But head coach Kelvin Sampson said their defense was not up to par in tonight’s matchup.

“We did not play as great on defense as I would have liked,” said Sampson. “But TCU is also a great offensive team. We played two games on the road, we are 0-2, and we have been in the position to win both. Now we have to go home to get ready and play a big home game.”

TCU’s Trey Tennyson disrupted a 5-0 run with 10:59 on the clock, sinking a three-point shot that brought TCU to 8-13 against the Cougars.

Houston’s L.J. Cryer hit a three-pointer, followed by a three-pointer made by Miller. However, Ja’Vier Francis made a layup to keep the Cougars ahead. TCU head coach Jamie Dixon called for a timeout at the 9:50 mark.

Dixon mentioned that he addressed the team during this timeout and expressed satisfaction in witnessing their ability to refocus and lock in.

TCU emerged from the timeout with more intensity. TCU only completed 6-of-22 attempts from the field but managed to bring the game as close as 25-26 with 2:22 left in the first half. Houston committed 15 fouls and TCU capitalized, converting 13-of-20 free-throw shots.

The Frogs were able to keep the game within three points, going into the locker room down by two, 29-31.

Early in the second half, Avery Anderson III gave TCU its first lead of the game with a three-point shot followed by a layup, putting the frogs ahead 36-33.

Anderson said that his growth with this group at TCU has allowed him to not only become a playmaker but also create opportunities for his teammates to score as well.

“I wasn’t known as a playmaker, but I felt like I was one, but I couldn’t distribute as much,” said Anderson. “Now I am playing with a lot of capable players that can score the ball as well. They make the game easier on me and they’re hitting shots. It’s all credit to them.”

The second lead change of the game, Houston was up 62-59 with 4:19 left on the clock. Emanuel Sharp made a layup to tie the game 59-58 and Damian Dunn put the Cougars up by three points with an outside three.

It was a back-and-forth game but Tennyson came in clutch, completing a 3-point shot that brought the Frogs to a one-point deficit, 66-67.

Sampson pointed out Tennyson’s performance in tonight’s matchup. He finished the night with 12 points, two rebounds, made four-of-seven from the field and completed 4-of-6 free throw attempts.

“That Tennyson kid had some big threes,” said Sampson. “Kudos to him.”

Micah Peavy sealed the win with six seconds remaining with a layup.

Sampson said that the team has been put in last second winning positions before, such as the game last year against Memphis, therefore not taking the timeout. But to Sampson’s surprise the last shot to win the game did not come from Jamal Shead.

“I did not want to call a timeout, but not in a million years did I think we were not going to throw it back to Jamal,” said Sampson. “We’ve done it before and it has worked well for us. We just made a mistake. We had a good chance to win this game, we were right there.

With their second conference win under their belt, TCU will hit the road to take on the Cincinnati Bearcats on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.