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No. 20 Texas surges past TCU for 75-66 victory

The Longhorns went down by 10 points in the second half, but dominated the final 13:20 for a comfortable win.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Behind 21 points from senior guard Andrew Jones, his third consecutive game scoring 20 or more points, and a bounce-back effort by senior guard Marcus Carr, the No. 20 Texas Longhorns closed out the TCU Horned Frogs on Tuesday at the Erwin Center by out-scoring the Horned Frogs 37-18 over the final 13-plus minutes.

Jones was 7-of-15 shooting from the field and hit 7-of-8 attempts from the free-throw line. Carr struggled in a scoreless performance against Texas Tech over the weekend, but showed resilience in scoring 19 points, matching the 7-of-8 free throws by Jones. Senior forward Timmy Allen added 17 points, also hitting 7-of-8 free-throw attempts, and securing five offensive rebounds. A high-energy performance by senior forward Christian Bishop was big, too, as the Creighton transfer scored 10 points, grabbed four offensive rebounds, and blocked five shots.

Texas finished the game with a 29-11 advantage in free-throw attempts, took seven more shots thanks to 14 offensive rebounds, scored 38 points in the paint, and converted 17 TCU turnovers into 30 points.

After shooting 65.2 percent in the first half, TCU remained hot after halftime, taking a 10-point lead on a layup by guard Mike Miles with 13:20 left in the second half, prompting a timeout by Texas head coach Chris Beard.

At that point, the Horns had gone nearly three minutes without scoring and missed seven of their previous eight shots. It was Jones who responded, as he did throughout the game, scooping in a left-handed shot through contact and finishing the three-point play at the line, then hitting another layup.

A three-point play by Allen in transition and a one-footed bank shot by Carr cut the margin to two points with 10 minutes remaining as the Horned Frogs finally began to struggle offensively, missing 7-of-8 shots. Another similar shot by Carr tied the game thanks to the 7-0 Texas run.

Trapping TCU ball handlers helped get the Horned Frogs out of rhythm, producing four turnovers over five minutes and helping the Longhorns get out in transition, scoring their six fast-break points of the game, including a three-point play by Jones, who stayed hot with a jumper to push the Texas lead to five points and extend the run to 12-0. A subsequent layup by Bishop was the sixth consecutive made field goal by the Horns.

Free throws by Allen and Jones extended the lead to eight points, the game’s largest for Texas, but TCU responded with two free throws and a layup by Mike Miles after Jones missed an open three-pointer and Allen had the ball stolen from him after an offensive rebound by Bishop.

With the lead down to three points, the Longhorns broke pressure by the Horned Frogs and Bishop finished at the rim for another traditional three-point play. Carr followed with a jumper.

Texas was able to hold on comfortably from that point, converting at the free-throw line and breaking pressure by the Horned Frogs with ease. Texas only turned the ball over eight times, a rate of 12.9 percent, one of the lowest rates of the season.

Texas scored 18 of their first 22 points in the paint, including eight layups, but TCU went on a 10-0 run to take 19-14 lead with a lob dunk by forward Micah Peavy, who had just hit a three from the corner, a run finally broken by Jones with a pivoting jumper in the paint and then a tough left-handed shot off the backboard on a drive. The defense was struggling to get stops, however, with the Horned Frogs shooting 60 percent from the field at the under-eight media timeout after hitting eight of their previous 11 shots.

Late in the first half, the Longhorns went nearly six minutes without a field goal late and went into halftime trailing 35-30 after a big three by Francisco Farabello, who capped an opening 20 minutes that saw the Horned Frogs hit 5-of-7 three-point attempts despite entering the game hitting only 30.1 percent from distance.

Junior forward Dylan Disu scored the only two bench points for Texas as sophomore guard Devin Askew was minus-14 and junior guard Brock Cunningham was minus-13. The bench failed to score in the second half, too, but an early 6-0 run by Carr, including a Euro step finish in transition, cut into a seven-point margin and forced Horned Frogs head coach Jamie Dixon to take a timeout.

TCU responded with a 7-0 run to take an eight-point lead, the largest of the game to that point, as Farabello hit his third three in three attempts before Askew penetrated and found Allen for a layup.

From there, Texas responded with its decisive run to secure the program’s first 20-win regular season since 2015-16. On Saturday, the Longhorns travel to Morgantown to face the slumping Mountaineers, who have lost 12 of their last 13 games.