TCU Falls 81-78 in Big 12/SEC Challenge

Jan. 27, 2018

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Vanderbilt Commodores gave themselves something to celebrate in what's been a very trying season.

Riley LaChance's 3-pointer with 1:17 left put Vanderbilt ahead to stay, and the Commodores beat TCU 81-78 Saturday afternoon in the Big 12/Southeastern Conference Challenge.

TCU (15-6) came in off an upset of No. 7 West Virginia, and another win might've gotten the Horned Frogs back in the Top 25. Now the Horned Frogs now have lost five of seven overall. They also are 3-2 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge and haven't beaten Vanderbilt since 1951.

''We shot 56 percent and outrebound by 15,'' TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. ''It's hard to lose a game when you do those two things, but we found a way.''

TCU guard Alex Robinson's layup tied it up at 76 with 2:19 left. But Robinson missed a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 1:27 left, and LaChance gave Vandy the lead for good with his fourth 3. Vladimir Brodziansky scored on layup to pull TCU within 79-78. LaChance hit a pair of free throws with 10.8 seconds left, and Kouat Noi's 3-pointer hit off the front rim with 3 seconds left for TCU.

Kenrich Williams led five Horned Frogs in double figures with 17 points. Brodziansky added 15, Robinson finished with 13, Desmond Bane 12 and Noi 11.

The Horned Frogs scored the first four points of the second half to take a 44-43 lead on a bucket by Bane. But LaChance answered with a 3, and Lee scored on a fast-break layup followed by a layup by LaChance with 17:39 left.

Vanderbilt led 43-40 at halftime after leading by as many as nine in the first half. TCU used 11 straight points to go up 21-16 before the Commodores went on a 19-5 run to take the lead back.

TCU: The Horned Frogs outshot Vandy 56 percent (36 of 63) compared to 53 percent (31 of 59). They also dominated on the boards 36-21 but only had a 40-34 edge scoring in the paint with the Commodores driving for layup after layup. They didn't get to the free throw line even once.

''It's hard to get zero free throws because I've never been a part of it,'' Dixon said.

TCU now has six losses this season by a combined 19 points. Dixon said the key for the Horned Frogs will be playing better defense. He wasn't happy with how they blew the assignment on Vandy's first made bucket, a 3.

''We don't follow through on assignments, we just don't do it well enough to be the team I think we can be ...,'' Dixon said. ''This is similar to every game we've lost. But our defensive numbers are putting us in that position plus our slow starts.''

TCU: Visits Oklahoma State on Tuesday night.



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