The TCU Horned Frogs took down the Texas Longhorns in Fort Worth, 78-63. Jarrett Allen led all scorers with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Vlad Brodziansky and Alex Robinson led the Frogs with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
The Horned Frogs led for much of the game, but Texas was always within reach until a late TCU run put Shaka Smart’s team away. Jamie Dixon’s squad took control of the game when it went to a 2-3 zone defense midway through the second half, and the Texas guards couldn’t penetrate or pass the ball into the interior, or hit the needed perimeter shots to break the defense.
Meanwhile, on the other end TCU’s offense overwhelmed a Texas defense that after playing solidly for most of the game started losing shooters on the perimeter. A JD Miller three, an offensive rebound putback Kenrich Williams, and a Jaylen Fisher transition three that put TCU up 72-60 seemed to break the backs of the Texas Longhorns.
Despite the final margin of victory, the game was close for much of the contest. Both teams were able to find chances to score in the first half. For the TCU Horned Frogs, many of their best chances to score came in transition, running off of rebounds and Texas turnovers, with guards Jaylen Fisher and Alex Robinson getting to the basket on the break. Meanwhile, Vlad Brodziansky was excellent to start the game, scoring 8 points and blocking three shots in the first 20 minutes of the game.
With Kerwin Roach picking up two quick fouls, and Shaq Cleare finding himself in early foul trouble as well, the Texas first half became the Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen show.
Things really got going for Jones midway through the half after an extended Texas scoring drought when he and Eric Davis had back to back drives leading to layups at the basket. Shortly after a Longhorn steal led to a Jones three pointer to put the Horns within two points.
Jones kept things going, taking a charge in transition and finding Allen for a lob on the back end of the TCU zone. And he almost had another three points, nailing a 25 foot heave, which happened just after the shot clock expired.
The Texas Longhorns finally tied the game 33-33 with 1:50 in the half when Eric Davis used a wing ball screen to score in the paint. But TCU finished the half strong, and took a 38-35 lead into the locker room.
Coming out of halftime, the Longhorn big men did good work early. Jarrett Allen established deep post position for a easy score on the first possession, and on the second trip Allen and Shaq Cleare played volleyball on the offensive glass until Cleare finally put the ball back in for a score.
Texas looked right in the game, turning a couple of turnovers into transition scores, and pulling to with in one point of the Frogs at the under 16 media timeout. But the Frogs would gradually widen the lead until erupting midway through the final half, putting the Longhorns away.
- TCU and Texas both took 58 field goal attempts, and the Frogs had five more free throws than the Horns. So once again, Texas allowed an opponent more shooting chances than it was able to claim for itself. But in this case, we can’t blame this on sloppy ball handling by the Longhorns or a lack of offensive rebounding as much as we should credit the careful work done by Jamie Dixon’s backcourt and the effort TCU puts in on the offensive glass.
- Credit where credit is due; TCU shot the ball really well today and executed on offense. The TCU back court was just terrible last season, and the Frog’s improvement should be credited in large part to Alex Robinson and Jaylen Fisher, neither of whom was playing for TCU a year ago.
- After lighting the Frogs up in the first half, Andrew Jones slowed down significantly in the second period. His shots stopped falling, he was limited in transition, and he turned somewhat passive when TCU switched to zone defense.
- The Frogs were 8-21 from three-point range. Texas was 2-13. Let’s not overthink this one too much. The Longhorns are just not good enough to win when they don’t make shots.
Texas faces Iowa State at home on Tuesday night.