Down big early, UT comes back to beat TCU Horned Frogs

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With a minute left in the game, Texas senior guard Marcus Carr had some space between him and the TCU defender. Carr made sure he took advantage of it.

Carr buried a 3-pointer to give the No. 10 Longhorns their first lead of the game at 76-73, and then they hung on for a 79-75 come-from-behind win over the No. 17 Horned Frogs on Thursday at Moody Center.

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TCU had a chance to tie the game with 0:37 left, but Emannuel Miller’s foul shot bounced off the back of the rim and into the arms of Texas’ Jabari Rice. With 6.2 seconds left, Rice sealed the game with a pair of foul shots. He scored all 15 of his points in the second half with eight coming from the free throw line.

“We had to create our own energy in the second half,” Longhorns interim head coach Rodney Terry said. “Once we got stops, we were able to get out in transition and play how we wanted to. We stuck together, and I’m proud of the guys for that.”

From the beginning, the Horned Frogs were the more physical team, pushing the Horns around on both ends of the floor. TCU built an 18-point lead, 40-22, with 2:57 left in the first half and Texas looked out of sorts offensively. TCU outrebounded Texas 22-17 in the first half, but Texas turned the table with an 18-11 advantage on the boards in the second half. That’s what TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said was the difference in his eyes.

“We can’t get outrebounded again,” he said. “That’s the second game in a row we’ve been outrebounded, and that’s not the way.”

However, the trio of Rice, Dylan Disu and Timmy Allen combined for 37 of the Longhorns’ 50 points in the second half. Disu scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field. Allen poured in 10 second-half points to end the game with a team-high 17.

“I’m just another guy in the rotation,” Allen said. “We try to get the ball to whoever is eating, and tonight I was eating.”

Until Carr’s timely 3-pointer, TCU had an answer for everything the Longhorns threw at them. Texas had the Frogs’ lead down to a bucket following a pair of Rice foul shots with 12:10 left in the game, but TCU went on an 8-0 run capped by a Damion Baugh 3-point play to stretch the lead back to 57-47.

Rice scored nine consecutive points for the Horns to reel the Frogs back in, culminating on a hoop-and-harm for three points with 8:41 left. Disu then converted a layup to make it 63-57 and then came up big on the defensive end with a block. Texas worked the TCU lead back to 67-65 after Disu hit a tough layup in the paint with 5:21 left. Rice tied the game at 67-67 with a pair of foul shots at the 4:39 mark — the game’s first tie since it was 2-2 in the first half.

“We knew we had to play at an elite level to win,” Terry said. “We didn’t get off to the start we wanted, but our guys are working on putting together a game for 40 minutes.”

TCU led 42-29 at halftime behind eight steals and a 10-for-11 performance from the foul line. The Longhorns had a scoring drought from the 9:27 mark following an Allen jumper to 6:09 when Hunter hit Texas’ first 3-pointer of the game. Within that timeframe, TCU went on an 8-0 run.

Texas cut into TCU’s lead with a 7-0 flurry late in the first half. Allen made a layup and hunter hit another 3-pointer, and then Disu made the Moody Center erupt with a two-handed putback dunk. The slam brought Texas within 11, 40-29, with about a minute left in the half.

For the Horned Frogs, Miller scored a game-high 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting. Mike Miles scored 16 points for TCU.

Texas (14-2, 3-1 Big 12 Conference) hosts Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Saturday. TCU (13-3, 2-2) hosts No. 11 Kansas State at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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