Texas forward Connor Lammert found himself falling away from the basket on a fast break layup, hoping the shot would fall in.
“I just threw it up there to be honest,” Lammert said. “I was super surprised it went in. I think the whole stadium was too. It was a good feed by Myck [Kabongo] and just an interesting play.”
The assist by Kabongo was one of seven in just his third game back this season. The sophomore guard had 12 points for the Longhorns in their 68-59 victory over the Frogs.
Kabongo was missing last time TCU and Texas met, but TCU head coach Trent Johnson knew the point guard’s return would make a difference.
“We don’t have a guy that can guard him,” Johnson said. “But I thought with a guy like that it’s total team defense.”
TCU (10-16 overall, 1-12 Big 12) put different defenders on Kabongo during the game, but he found a way past each one. Late in the second half, Kabongo spun around guard Nate Butler Lind at the top of the key and finished with a layup.
Texas forward Ioannis Papapetrou, who finished with 15 points, said Kabongoa does more than fill the stat sheet.
“He really gives good advice throughout the game,” Papapetrou said. “He never lets guys down. He’s always keeping the confidence level up. He’s just been a leader out there.”
The Frogs never took the lead from Kabongo and the Longhorns.
With 8:42 left in the game, Butler Lind tied the game at 48 on a pair of free throws, erasing a 12-point deficit. The next trip down the court a missed layup by Kabongo fell into the hands of Lammert for the put back. Lammert finished with 13 points.
The Longhorns (12-14, 4-9) never looked back as they took a lead that never fell under five points for the rest of the game.
Forward Garlon Green led the Frogs’ effort with 15 points while Butler Lind had 12. Forward Devonta Abron had a game-high 11 rebounds. TCU outrebounded the Longhorns 31-27 and hit 45.7 percent (21-of-46) from the field. The Frogs also had 16 assists and 10 turnovers.
“In terms of league play, I thought we were as efficient offensively as we were all year,” Johnson said. “I think the big key was they made plays when they needed to make them whether it was defensively, whether it was offensively.”
TCU has dropped four in a row since winning its first league game on Feb. 6 against the Kansas Jayhawks.
“This one hurts,” Johnson said. “It hurts because we played well at times. We just can’t get a break when we need to get a break.”