Noi’s return lifts Horned Frogs to critical win over No. 19 Iowa State

0
699
Print Article
In his first game back from an ankle injury, Noi led all scorers with 20 points, including four three pointers. Photo by Heesoo Yang.

The Horned Frogs season and NCAA tournament aspirations looked to be slipping away in the second half against No. 19 Iowa State, but Kouat Noi wouldn’t let it happen.

Trailing by four after a 7-0 Cyclone run, the redshirt sophomore’s three pointer with 7:31 left in the game cut the Cyclones lead to one and started an 11-2 TCU run that gave the Horned Frogs a lead they wouldn’t relinquish en route to a 75-72 win.

Although Iowa State would cut the lead to just one with 41 seconds left, a JD Miller contested layup gave the Horned Frogs a three point advantage and effectively ended the game. Miller tied his season-high with 17 points.

The senior made the game-winning shot earlier this season against Oklahoma State and knows he has the confidence of his teammates when the game is on the line.

JD Miller tied a season-high with 17 points. Photo by Heesoo Yang.

“I just do my job out there,” he said. “My teammates feed me the ball down low and they expect me to go to work and that is what I try to do.”

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the team and marked their second-straight win over a ranked team this season, both against Iowa State.

Noi finished with a game-high 20 points and 13 rebounds in his return from an ankle injury that kept him out of the last two games, both losses.

Noi’s loss was especially hard on a Horned Frog team that has lost four players to transfer and another to a season-ending injury, leaving them with only seven players in their rotation.

“When you have ten and you lose one that doesn’t have as much as an impact,” TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said. “When you have seven and you lose one, especially one that plays a couple positions and your offense is kind of based around having him out there, that’s a big difference.”

Noi, Bane, Miller and Alex Robinson all played more than 34 of the game’s 40 minutes.

Along with timely baskets down the stretch, the Horned Frogs defense prevented the Cyclones offense from entering a rhythm all afternoon.

Iowa State shot just 2-of-20 from the thre

“They missed some open ones, but when you look at how they’re a three-point shooting team, and they had 20 of their 70 shots, it means you probably weren’t giving them any good looks,” Dixon said.

Along with limiting the Cyclones from deep, the Horned Frogs’ rebounding proved decisive. They out-rebounded Iowa State 42-37 for 16 offensive rebounds that resulted in 13 second-chance points, including Noi’s momentum-shifting three with 7:31 left in the second half.

The win injected a sense of confidence into a TCU team that saw its season crumbling as injuries mounted and a three game losing streak placed them toward the bottom of the Big 12.

“Our goals haven’t changed, granted no one’s probably lost as many guys as we have, the goals haven’t changed and our expectations haven’t changed,” Dixon said. “We needed the win.”

Bane pointed to the Horned Frogs’ veteran leadership as the reason for how they were able to get through the losing streak and come out on top of a ranked opponent.

“We got a lot of veteran guys, guys that have been through this,” he said. “Coach Dixon refers to it as the dog days. Whoever can come together at this time is usually the team that comes out on top.”

The team will look to carry the momentum from the win on the road to take on West Virginia. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday in Morgantown.


Desmond Bane scored 16 points on 6-8 shooting, including a crucial three in the second half. Photo by Heesoo Yang

“They missed some open ones, but when you look at how they’re a three-point shooting team, and they had 20 of their 70 shots, it means you probably weren’t giving them any good looks,” Dixon said.

Along with limiting the Cyclones from deep, the Horned Frogs’ rebounding proved decisive. They out-rebounded Iowa State 42-37 for 16 offensive rebounds that resulted in 13 second-chance points, including Noi’s momentum-shifting three with 7:31 left in the second half.

The win injected a sense of confidence into a TCU team that saw its season crumbling as injuries mounted and a three game losing streak placed them toward the bottom of the Big 12.

“Our goals haven’t changed, granted no one’s probably lost as many guys as we have, the goals haven’t changed and our expectations haven’t changed,” Dixon said. “We needed the win.”

Bane pointed to the Horned Frogs’ veteran leadership as the reason for how they were able to get through the losing streak and come out on top of a ranked opponent.

“We got a lot of veteran guys, guys that have been through this,” he said. “Coach Dixon refers to it as the dog days. Whoever can come together at this time is usually the team that comes out on top.”

The team will look to carry the momentum from the win on the road to take on West Virginia. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday in Morgantown.