No. 15 Texas closes out regular season at TCU

NCAA

No. 15 Texas will look for a third straight win and momentum toward the NCAA Tournament when it travels to TCU on Sunday for a final Big 12 Conference regular-season dustup in Fort Worth, Texas.

Sunday’s contest will be the Longhorns’ fourth consecutive road game in a late-season scheduling quirk created by COVID-19-induced postponements. Texas has won the past two of those games, most recently an impressive 69-65 victory over No. 16 Oklahoma on Thursday.

That victory allowed the Longhorns (16-7, 10-6 Big 12) to secure a first-round bye in next week’s Big 12 tournament. Texas, in fourth place in the conference, won its fifth game this season against an AP-ranked opponent in 11 tries.

Jericho Sims registered 16 points and 12 rebounds against Oklahoma, tying his season high in both categories. Sims’ big game came after an AWOL showing on Tuesday at Iowa State, where he got two fouls early and never got on track, finishing with six points and no rebounds.

“I think Tuesday, I kind of reverted back to the beginning of the season, just getting in foul trouble, being too aggressive in a bad way,” Sims said. “(Thursday), I was on it. I had to lock in and watch more film. I credit the coaching staff and my teammates for that.”

Andrew Jones added 16 points for Texas against the Sooners. Courtney Ramey scored 11 points and pulled down a season-best nine rebounds, and Jase Febres recorded a season-high 11 points.

Sims is also a big part of Texas’ defense, an aspect that proved key as the Longhorns limited Oklahoma to 37.3 percent shooting from the floor.

TCU (12-12, 5-10) almost certainly will have to win the Big 12 tournament to get into the NCAA tourney. The Horned Frogs head home from a three-game road trip after a 76-67 loss at No. 6 West Virginia on Thursday.

TCU trailed 32-18 at the half after making just four field goals in the first 20 minutes. The Horned Frogs clawed back into the game, scoring 49 points in the second half and reducing their deficit to as low as seven points with just under six minutes left in the game.

“We made some adjustments,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “I should’ve done more of it in the first half, but in the locker room (postgame) I told them I’m encouraged by what we did coming back in the second half. We came together. Our offense was stagnant in the first half, it wasn’t working and we were frustrated, but we responded.

“We kept fighting. We kept battling.”

Junior Jaedon LeDee led TCU with a career-high 20 points and matched a career high with eight rebounds off the bench, with 17 of those points and seven of the rebounds coming in the second half. TCU scored 26 of its second-half points in the paint.

Mike Miles added 15 points for the Horned Frogs, and Kevin Samuel scored 12.

TCU, which has lost two straight games and five of the past six, is assured of the eighth seed at the Big 12 tournament. The Horned Frogs will face ninth-seeded Kansas State in the first round on Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo.

–Field Level Media

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