Desperately needing a win, TCU men’s basketball used a strong second half to knock off No. 18 Texas Tech Tuesday night, 65-54.
“It’s huge,” guard Desmond Bane said about the win. “I love the way we responded. It’s huge for us going forward.”
The first half was tense as the Horned Frogs took a quick 10-7 lead, looking like they had something to prove.
A quick 6-0 run gave Texas Tech an advantage they wouldn’t lose before halftime, but a game-high 14 first-half points from Bane kept the game tight. Texas Tech never led by more than eight in the first half.
The senior finished 5-for-8 from the field in the first 20 minutes. Meanwhile, his teammates combined for 29 percent from the floor.
“I just try and do my part,” Bane said. “Made open shots, tried to get everyone going with my energy.”
The Frogs had also turned it over eight times in the first half, giving the Red Raiders a 31-27 lead heading into the locker room.
After trailing by four at halftime, Bane led TCU on an 18-5 run to open the second half, giving the Frogs a lead they would never lose.
Bane finished with a game-high 27 points, including 6-for-8 shooting from behind the arc.
“Bane was fantastic,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “He was the best player on the floor.”
TCU came out of the halftime break locked and loaded. The Frogs made five of their first seven shots of the half, erupting on a 13-2 run to take a 40-33 lead with 16:07 left to play.
As TCU improved on offense, their defense got even better, forcing nine second-half turnovers while holding Tech to 0-for-7 from deep.
From there, the Frogs lead would stay at seven or higher as TCU cruised to their first win over the Red Raiders in their last five matchups.
Center Kevin Samuel produced his ninth double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The win moves TCU to 4-2 in conference play and fourth overall in the Big 12 standings.
After a hot 3-0 start in conference play, the Frogs lost two-straight by a combined 52 points. Tuesday was their first win over a ranked opponent all season.
TCU will get a short break from Big 12 play this weekend, as they head up to Arkansas to play the Razorbacks as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday in Fayetteville.