TCU’s appearance in the Big 12 Tournament ended with a close 66–60 loss to the Texas Longhorns in the tournament semifinals on Friday night.
This was one of the more frustrating games for either team, as TCU only had two or three possessions all night. Every time the Horned Frogs cut the deficit down to two or three points, the Longhorns had a response or TCU’s offense would go into a scoring drought.
With 4:47 remaining, the game was well within reach as the Horned Frogs trailed only 60–56. But TCU went more than three minutes without a field goal as the Horned Frogs could not convert on good looks.
Emanuel Miller missed the front end of a one-man opportunity. Mike Miles Jr. was unable to make an open 3 down and a layup was blocked by Micah Peavy.
Texas finally broke the scoring drought with a difficult layup by Marcus Carr that made it 62–56 with 2:02 remaining.
It ended up being the game-deciding shot as the Horned Frogs were eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament. Texas will face Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament championship game on Saturday.
The success of the Texas frontcourt ended up being the difference. Dylan Disu and Christian Bishop were able to impose their will on both sides of the court. Disu scored 12 points in the first half, and then Bishop began to take over in the second half.
After TCU cut it to 46–44, Bishop soared through the lane for a one-handed putback slam to seize the momentum. When he was not throwing dunks, Bishop was hitting shots on defense as TCU struggled to finish inside against Bishop or Disu.
The tone of the game suited both of their styles as the referees allowed plenty of contact at the rim. JaKobe Coles was again productive at fifth, but as a hole the Horned Frogs’ frontcourt could not match the Longhorns’. Xavier Cork was scoreless and spent most of the night in foul play. Souleymane Daoubia only played three minutes.
Nihu and Bishop scored 15 points and combined for 15 rebounds. Let’s not forget the six blocked shots and countless others that were turned over on defense.
On March 1, Texas held Miles to just one point and no field goals in a victory over TCU in Fort Worth. It took him two minutes of game time to overcome it, as he hit a slashing layup to tie it at 2.
Miles scored only once more in the first half, and Texas fell on him every time he got back to the rim. If you want to understand how physical the game was, keep in mind that Miles did not attempt a free throw despite falling to the ground countless times attempting a shot. After showing visible frustration, Miles calmed down and helped TCU mount a rally.
After a Marcus Carr 3-pointer put Texas ahead by seven, Miles immediately answered with a corner 3 to make it 60–56 with 4:47 remaining. Miles would later add another 3-pointer in a bounce back game to finish with 15 points which was not enough.
Unlike the first two games, TCU was unable to build a large lead over the Longhorns in the first half. Texas led the entire half in what turned out to be a physical battle between the in-state rivals. The referee let both teams play with each team shooting only two free throws, throwing one piece in the half.
Disu was the early difference as he controlled the paint and made six of his seven shots. DiSu helped Texas maintain a 27–23 lead with just 3:11 left before halftime. Every single Texas point in that point, except for one free throw, came from the paint which put TCU outscoring 26–12.
After the Longhorns went up by six with 2:33 remaining in the half, O’Bannon drilled a corner 3-pointer to make it 29–26, but the Longhorns scored two quick baskets in the final 60 seconds to take the lead 34–26. Made a solid score of . Halftime lead. Even without Timmy Allen starting forward, Texas was able to use its size advantage to maintain early control of the contest.