College Sports

Longwood starts fast and closes strong to upset TCU

Longwood, a Division I school since 2007, built a 16-point first-half lead and held off TCU in the final seconds to pull out an 82-79 upset Tuesday night at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Lucas Woodhouse’s 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left was the game-winner, spoiling Kyan Anderson’s game-tying free throws seconds before. The Horned Frogs’ attempt in the final 1.7 seconds to force overtime was too late.

It’s only the 16th true road win for the Lancers (1-1), who started playing Division I schools in 2004-05. They joined the Big South Conference a year ago, its first Division I affiliation.

Longwood’s Tristan Carey led all scorers with 31 points. His shooting from outside (7 of 12 from the 3-point arc) helped the Lancers stretch their lead late in the first half. He scored 10 points in a span of 2:43, and Darrion Allen had five points, including a 3-pointer on an assist from Carey just before halftime.

TCU coach Trent Johnson has expressed the importance of his team remaining mentally tough, especially when shots aren’t falling.

But in front of an announced crowd of 4,067, the Frogs struggled defensively early when their offense struggled. TCU made only 7 of 24 shots in the first half.

“The first half [our mental toughness] was not to be found,” Johnson said. “I was really surprised by our lack of energy. Obviously, when the ball is not going down for you, you can’t let that dictate how you play.”

Johnson’s halftime pep talk was brief as the team was back out on the court for a shoot-around with 8:00 left on the clock. Typically teams aren’t back out until about 3:00 is left on the clock.

It seemed to work. TCU opened on a 13-0 run to tie the game at 40-40 with 16:22 remaining. Longwood, however, came right back with its own 5-0 run on layups from Karl Ziegler and Allen, who converted a three-point play.

After Longwood had pushed its lead back up to 52-45, TCU again rallied, getting a layup by Michael Williams, a 3-pointer from Brandon Parrish and a dunk from Jarvis Ray. Williams’ 3-pointer gave TCU its first lead of the game, 55-54, with 8:43 left. His two free throws just over a minute later gave the Frogs’ their biggest lead, 59-56, with 7:14 to go.

But Carey’s 3-pointer with 4:22 remaining put Longwood back in front, and the Lancers never trailed again.

For TCU to even take it to the buzzer seemed like a long shot when the Lancers led by six with a minute remaining and, then again, with 25 seconds left. But Anderson’s layup and Parrish’s 3-pointer from the corner pulled the Frogs to within 78-77 with 19 seconds left, setting up Anderson’s game-tying free throws after Longwood’s Leron Fisher missed the second of two foul shots with the Lancers clinging to a 79-77 lead. Anderson was fouled on a baseline drive and sank both free throws for the tie with 7 seconds left, setting up Woodhouse’s game-winner.

TCU was playing without several players, including Hudson Price and Amric Fields, who are recovering from injuries, and Devonta Abron and Aaron Durley, who are out with season-ending injuries.

Another player, Chris Washburn, is waiting to earn a transfer waiver so he can play this season after transferring from UTEP.

“I don’t care who’s on the floor. It doesn’t matter,” Johnson said. “The guys who are on the floor are capable of playing better basketball than what we played today. When they’re ready, that’s when they’ll be on the floor.”

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