TCU men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon said his team’s ability to extend its NIT run into Tuesday’s game against Richmond (6 p.m., Schollmaier Arena) by winning a road game at Iowa without starting point guard Jaylen Fisher says a lot about the team’s development this season.
The Horned Frogs (21-15) prevailed in their first game without Fisher, who will miss the remainder of the season with a broken wrist, despite watching the Hawkeyes make 16-of-30 shots from beyond the arc (53.3 percent) and win the battle of the boards, 39-32. It marked only the second time this season for TCU to win a game when the Frogs were outrebounded.
But the Frogs continued to battle, made 50.7 percent of their shots from the field and outscored Iowa in the paint, 52-30, to win for the fourth time in their last five games.
“We found a way and we’ve been doing that lately,” Dixon said. “That’s called growing up and that’s what we did.”
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Before start its recent 4-1 at the Big 12 conference tournament, TCU capped the regular season on a seven-game losing streak. Now, the team is one victory away from reaching the NIT semifinals in New York. Guard Kenrich Williams, who posted his 16thc double-double of the season against Iowa (15 points, 10 rebounds), said the lure of playing in Madison Square Garden will motivate the Frogs against Richmond.
“Everybody wants to get to New York when you play in the NIT,” Williams said. “We’ve got one more game before we can go to New York. So every game from here on is big for us. We pulled this one out (against Iowa) and we showed a lot of resilience. Late in the first half, their crowd kind of got into it and that got us going. Our team loves playing in environments like that.”