TCU was able to stage a last minute comeback to cut Kansas’ eight point lead with a minute left to three, but Charles Hill Jr.’s deep desperation heave clanked off the back of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
TCU fell to Kansas by the final score of 64-61. The loss drops TCU to 14-6 overall and 1-6 in Big 12 play. Kansas improves 17-3 overall and 6-1 in the conference.
It was a game of runs for both the Horned Frogs and the Jayhawks.
The two teams traded baskets until midway through the first half. Kansas went on a 18-0 run that featured an emphatic alley-oop by Kansas forward Cliff Alexander that was set up by a perfect lob by Wayne Selden, who capped off the Jayhawks run with a three pointer before TCU head coach Trent Johnson called time out with the score 23-10 with 9:57 left in the half.
But TCU answered with a run of its own.
The Frogs went on an 11-4 run to cut the Jayhawks 13 point lead to 6.
The Horned Frogs rebounding and defensive effort was able to keep TCU within striking distance for the remainder of the game. TCU out rebounded Kansas by a 50-40 margin, 26 of the Frogs’ rebounds came on the offensive end.
TCU capitalized on its defensive performance early in the opening minutes of the second half. TCU point guard Kyan Anderson opened the final half with five straight points. The junior drilled a three-pointer after three consecutive offensive rebounds by forward Kenrich Williams. Senior guard Trey Zeigler came back on the other end of the court and stole the ball from Kansas’ Jamari Traylor and found Anderson for a three-point look. Anderson missed the shot but gathered his own rebound and hit a mid-range jumper.
The Frogs’ 14-3 run gave them a three point lead with 13:41 left, but Kansas had an answer.
Kansas went on a 17-5 run that was capped by a monster dunk by Alexander. The crowd, which was covered in Jayhawk blue, came to their feet thinking Kansas had silenced the TCU threat with their team ahead 59-50 and only 3:11 remaining.
But once more, TCU was able to find a way to make the game interesting.
Zeigler completed a three-point play with 33 seconds remaining to pull the Frogs within two after three consecutive offensive rebounds. Then the senior had another chance at a three-point play, but he missed his second attempt. After Kansas guard Brannen Greene went one of two from the foul line, Zeigler was fouled on another made basket, but he missed the free throw.
TCU sent the Jayhawks’ starting point guard to the foul line with 4.7 seconds left: he missed both shots.
The game ended on a desperation shot from near mid-court from Hill that found that back of the rim.
TCU head coach Trent Johnson said he was pround of his team’s effort, but he is not happy about losing close games.
“We don’t feel good, there’s a frustration level,” said Johnson.
Part of Johnson’s frustration is coming from the free throw line; the Horned Frog’s went 15-29 from the foul line. Johnson said he’s still not content with the team’s free throw shooting but he acknowledged that the team is trying to improve.
“It hurts. But they’re not trying to miss [free throws],” said Johnson. “They work at it. They’re not trying to miss them.”
Despite getting the victory, Kansas head coach Bill Self wasn’t too pleased with his team’s play either.
“I thought [TCU] played harder,” said Self. “They were quicker to balls. We were fortunate they shot a low percentage and missed some free throws.”
With the loss, TCU has now dropped six of its last seven and remains at the bottom of the Big 12 standings with Texas Tech. The Frogs will travel to Iowa State to take on the Cyclones on Saturday at 1 p.m.