“I was impressed with our guys how we battled back,” TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said. “Obviously had adversity early, got down and got the leads in both overtimes to be in a position to finish it off, but we didn’t so that’s why we got the loss. This league is going to be exciting with games like this.”
Fisher picked up two fouls in the first 2:11 of the game, forcing him to miss the rest of the first half. The Horned Frog offense struggled without him, committing nine first-half turnovers after averaging just 9.8 turnovers over its last five games. The sophomore had the same issue crop up in TCU’s last game against Kansas, playing only 14 minutes against the Jayhawks, and he scored 16 points in those 14 minutes, providing a spark when on the court.
“He played well in the second half, and that’s something we have to address and get better at,” Dixon said. “We’ve been working on it, and he played the second half with one foul. We can’t be in that position with anybody on our team especially a guard.”
After halftime, Fisher mostly turned his night around, finishing with 13 points and six assists in 27 minutes of action.
TCU guard Alex Robinson chipped in 14 points, hitting all of three of his three-pointers off the bench in place of Fisher.
Defensively, TCU had a rough go of it trying to keep up with the Texas frontcourt of forwards Jericho Sims, Dylan Osetkowski and Mohamed Bamba. The Longhorns out-scored TCU down low by 12, 42-30, in the paint. Texas out-rebounded TCU 33-30, blocking seven shots.
“They made shots early and got to the foul line way too much, but we talked about it and have to get better at it,” Dixon said. “They played well and had some guys that stepped up.”
The second half appeared to be more of the same with Texas, jumping back ahead by as many as 13, 51-38, with 16:26 left to play following a Bamba lay-up.
Despite their defensive deficiencies, the Horned Frogs began to climb back into the game with about ten minutes left to play, using a 9-1 run that cut the Longhorn lead to just two, 63-61, with 7:44 left to play.
The stretch was powered by TCU’s leading scorer Kenrich Williams who scored six of TCU’s points during the stretch. The senior finished with a game-high 26 points. TCU’s defense also did its part, forcing Texas to miss six consecutive shots.
The Horned Frogs then took its first lead of the night following a three-pointer from Williams on the left wing, 66-65, with 6:20 to play. He did it again about three minutes later to return the lead to TCU, 73-72 with 3:14 left to play.
With 1:04 left in the game, TCU found itself trailing by four, 77-73, but forward Vladimir Brodziansky willed the Horned Frogs into overtime with a perfect trip to the free throw line and lay-up off on a pick and roll feed from Alex Robinson to even the score at 77.
Then, Brodziansky ensured that there would be a second overtime, draining a buzzer-beating jumper from the left elbow off another a pick and roll feed pass from Robinson that tied the game at 88. The Slovakian finished with 19 points.
TCU guard Desmond Bane then missed a go-ahead jumper with the game tied at 98 with time running down in double-overtime. Williams attempted to corral the miss but fouled Sims with 5.6 seconds left. The Longhorn forward hit one of his two free-throws, setting up an opportunity for a Horned Frog buzzer-beater with five seconds left.
TCU beat the Texas press on the inbounds pass, and Fisher wove through the Longhorn defense to get a driving lay-up for the win, but the ball rolled off the rim in stunning fashion, giving the Longhorns a one-point victory.
“If you go by percentage shots, that would be a good one pick, and I don’t know if you could get one better,” Dixon said. “I told them it wasn’t just one play, it was our defense throughout.”
Dixon cited Texas’ 56 percent shooting from the field as a reason why TCU came up short.
Wednesday was déjà vu for TCU as they lost their second conference game by a point after missing its last shot.
“We’ve got to learn how to put two halves together and finish the game,” Williams said. “That’s our main thing right now. And get better defensively.”