No. 25 TCU won’t face a ranked foe when it opposes Texas on Saturday afternoon in a key Big 12 Conference dustup in Fort Worth, Texas, but that doesn’t mean the Horned Frogs should anticipate anything less than a street fight.
TCU (16-5, 5-2 Big 12) has won three consecutive games, the latest an 85-78 slugfest at home vs. No. 15 Texas Tech on Tuesday. Trevian Tennyson led TCU with 23 points while Micah Peavy added 18 as the Horned Frogs canned a season-high-tying 11 3-pointers to help their rally from an 11-point, first-half deficit.
TCU ripped off a 24-9 run over the final 7 1/2 minutes of the first half and took a four-point lead to the break.
“We’ve played in these types of games and we’ve been through it before,” Tennyson said. “You can’t get down and sit on it because the lead will only continue to grow.”
The Horned Frogs never trailed after halftime, drawing away to a 12-point advantage before Texas Tech rallied within 81-78 left with 19 seconds. JaKobe Coles sank four free throws over the final 14 seconds to seal TCU’s fourth win this month over a team ranked in the AP Top 15.
“We found ourselves down 11 because we were failing to execute on defense, and that never really changed the whole game,” Horned Frogs coach Jamie Dixon said. “There was a stretch … (when) we changed up our defense and I think that helped — that was key in the second half.”
Coles finished with 12 points in the victory.
The Saturday game will be the fifth straight for the Longhorns (14-7, 3-5) against a team ranked in the Top 25. Texas split the first four of those contests, beating then-No. 9 Baylor at home and then-No. 11 Oklahoma on the road before losing at then-No. 21 BYU and at home to No. 4 Houston in overtime.
In the 75-72 setback against Houston, the Longhorns’ Max Abmas scored 20 points and Dillon Mitchell had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Texas trailed by four in overtime before Abmas was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining. He made the first two free throws to bring Texas within two points and missed the third intentionally, but the Cougars got the rebound.
Dylan Disu added 14 points before fouling out for the Longhorns, who lost for the fifth time in eight games despite putting up the highest point total yielded by Houston’s top-ranked defense this season.
“It’s not enough for us, trying to come close or having a moral victory,” Texas coach Rodney Terry said after the loss. “We’re not in it for moral victories. We compete at the University of Texas to win. I know our guys tried to do that tonight at a very high level.
“No disappointment in their effort or their want-to. … We’ll keep working hard and keep trying to get better in this league.”
Texas won two of three meetings against TCU last season, including a victory in the Big 12 tournament semifinals. The Longhorns have won nine of the teams’ past 11 matchups.
–Field Level Media