February 6, 2013

Frog heaven: TCU rocks Kansas in stunning upset

TCU ends 0-8 Big 12 skid with first win vs. top-5 team in school history.

TCU students stormed the court at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum late Wednesday after witnessing one of the most improbable upsets in recent college basketball history.

TCU defeated No. 5 Kansas 62-55 in front of 7,412 in attendance, the largest crowd in DMC history.

Even more shocking than the score? The Horned Frogs led the entire game and built a 16-point lead midway through the second half.

It was TCU's first conference win in the Big 12, matching the Frogs' football team, which opened Big 12 play with a win at Kansas. The Frogs (10-12, 1-8 Big 12) gave the Jayhawks (19-3, 7-2) their first consecutive losses since 2006, a span of 264 games without losing twice in a row. It was TCU's first win over a top-5 team and first win over a top-10 team since beating Louisville in 2004. The Frogs were 0-20 against top-5 teams going into Wednesday night.

"We knew if we were going to have any chance to win this game we were going to have to play as well as we've played all year," TCU coach Trent Johnson told ESPNU, which televised the game. "I think we played extremely hard."

TCU never trailed. The Frogs led 8-0 more than seven minutes into the game before Kansas scored its first points. TCU hadn't led by more than seven points over any Big 12 opponent in its first eight games. The Jayhawks opened the game making only 1 of 17 shots from the field and never really got on track. They finished the game shooting 29.5 percent, a shooting night TCU fans have been more used to the Frogs having rather than their opponents. But not Wednesday night.

TCU finished the game shooting 39.1 percent for the night but started much hotter. The Frogs scored 17 points off turnovers by the Jayhawks, who looked tentative and sloppy for much of the first half. TCU led 22-13 at the half, the fewest points at the break for KU since 1989, the oldest stats available from KU's sports information department.

Kansas finally made a run in the second half, outscoring TCU 17-4 to cut the Frogs' lead to 44-40 with a little less than seven minutes to play. Naadir Tharpe led the Jayhawks during the surge, scoring nine of his 11 points.

But a layup from Garlon Green on a nice assist from Adrick McKinney stopped TCU's slide, and the final six minutes turned into a free-throw shooting contest for the Frogs in an area in which they've struggled mightily. But down the stretch the Frogs made enough and finished 22 of 38 from the line.

"It was the worst Kansas team that's been on the floor since Dr. [James] Naismith was losing to a YMCA team," Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. "The first half was bad, and it got worse from there."

In the final two minutes, KU guard Elijah Johnson, who had been scoreless the first 30 minutes of the game, heated up and made two 3-pointers with less than a minute remaining, cutting TCU's lead to 58-53 with 34 seconds to go.

Kyan Anderson made two free throws, and Nate Butler-Lind made 2 of 4 free throws in the final 30 seconds to clinch the win.

Green led the Frogs with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Connell Crossland had eight points and a game- and career-high 15 rebounds.

His rebound dunk on Green's missed jumper with 7:42 left was by far the coolest play by a TCU player this season. And it gave the Frogs a 10-point lead.

Ben McLemore led Kansas with 15 points.

Stefan Stevenson


Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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