Men’s basketball upsets No. 17 WVU in overtime

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Behind a stellar performance from center Kevin Samuel, TCU men’s basketball knocked off No. 17 West Virginia 67-60 in overtime Saturday.

The win marks their second win in the past nine games.

“That’s the thing, we never questioned our ability,” guard Desmond Bane said about getting in the win column. “It’s just about doing the little things, day-in and day-out.”

TCU center Kevin Samuel rises up for a layup against West Virginia on Saturday. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto.

Samuel finished with a game-high 19 points, included six in overtime alone. The redshirt sophomore also added eight rebounds, five blocks, and two steals to fill up the stat sheet.

“Obviously, Kevin was terrific,” head coach Jamie Dixon said. “[I’m] so happy for him — how hard he’s worked on his free throws.”

Samuel also finished 5-for-6 from the free throw line.

Bane led the Frogs to a nearly flawless start. The senior assisted on the team’s first three scores before hitting a three moments later give TCU a 9-4 lead.

All early momentum for the Frogs was quickly cut short though as the Mountaineers outscored the Frogs 15-1 during a six-minute stretch to put them in a ten-point hole midway through the first half.

The Frogs cut back into the lead with an 8-0 run to head into the locker room just down two points and shooting 50 percent.

Back-to-back layups from guards PJ Fuller and Jaire Grayer gave TCU a 33-31 lead just moments into the second half.

The Frogs looked to be in stride, extending their lead to seven a few minutes later on a three-pointer from R.J. Nembhard.

TCU guard R.J. Nembhard has started at point guard for the Frogs in their last two games. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto.

Nembhard, who started his second-straight game at point guard, would score 10 of his 14 points in the second half alone, keeping the lead in TCU’s hands for the next 13 minutes of play.

The Mountaineers took a brief one-point lead with 1:55 remaining, but two made free throws by Samuel put TCU ahead once again just seconds later.

West Virginia would then tie the game at at 55 and get the ball back with a chance to win the game with 26 seconds remaining.

After the Mountaineers’ game-winning attempt hit the back iron, Bane raced the other way and banked in what appeared to be the game-winning jump shot but he was called for a foul.

“You just don’t call that with 0.9 seconds left,” Bane said. “But it is what is is.”

TCU guard Jaire Grayer scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds for the Frogs on Saturday. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto.

Grayer hit a three to open overtime for TCU and the Frogs never looked back.

Samuel took over, scoring six of TCU’s 12 points in overtime and grabbing a tough rebound late in the game to seal the win.

Nembhard finished with 16 points of his own in the contest, while Bane added a career-high 10 assists.

“To make the plays, the passes to get those ten assists just shows how far he’s come and how much he’s grown, how good a player he is,” Dixon said.

The game was Bane’s 136th game for the Frogs, tying with his former teammate guard Brandon Parrish for second on TCU’s all-time games played list.

Up next, TCU will head to Ames for a matchup with Iowa State. Tip-off is scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m.