TCU senior scores 27, gets his wish as Frogs end 5-game losing streak to SMU

It was clear from the start Kenrich Williams wanted to shoot the ball.

And why wouldn’t he?

The senior guard made two 3-pointers in the first 61 seconds, totaled five and scored a career-high 27 points in No. 20 TCU’s 94-83 victory against SMU on Tuesday night in an emotional game at Schollmaier Arena, packed with fans from both teams.

Or maybe he just wanted to beat SMU.

“It’s huge for our program and for the future moving forward, even after I graduate,” Williams said. “I’ve been here three years. This is one of the things I wanted for my senior year, was to beat SMU, and we got that done tonight.”

Williams’ performance helped the Horned Frogs (9-0) win for the first time in six games against the Mustangs (7-3). It was also TCU’s 14th straight victory, the nation’s longest winning streak, which began last season with five wins in the NIT.

And it was the Frogs’ third consecutive victory as a ranked team, their longest such streak since 1999.

Williams made 7 of 8 shots, 5 of 6 from 3-point range. He made eight of 10 free throws and added nine rebounds, falling just shy of adding to his five double-doubles this season.

“I was shooting it with confidence from 3, getting great looks,” Williams said.

That’s an understatement.

Williams’ third 3-pointer gave the Frogs a 15-9 lead. His fourth 3-pointer gave the Frogs a 50-47 lead early in the second half, and his fifth put TCU ahead 72-60 with 7:08 left.

Williams’ previous career high was 25 in the NIT championship game against Georgia Tech.

“We’ve told him to shoot open shots,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “He didn’t shoot it well early in the season, but he’d been shooting it good all summer, all fall, so we told him to take open shots. We want him to drive it a little bit more, get fouled a little bit more.”

Williams is not the only 3-point shooter.

Kouat Noi and Desmond Bane each hit three 3-pointers for the Frogs, who were 12-for-24.

The 3-pointers from the Australian freshman Noi helped TCU climb back in the game. His 3-pointer put the Frogs ahead 30-29 with 4:10 left, his second made it a 33-29 lead at 3:10, and his third made it 41-36 at the 38-second mark.

But Williams was the engine Tuesday night.

“People know who he is now,” Dixon said. “People are coming to watch our practices. People were at this game — NBA teams. They saw it at the NIT. The word’s out. He’s been very good. It’s an amazing story.”

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In the words of ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla, TCU coach Jamie Dixon has awoken a ‘sleeping giant’ in the college basketball landscape as the Horned Frogs pulled out a stunning 88-56 win over Georgia Tech in the NIT Championship game. (video by Jar

The TCU Horned Frogs received their NIT championship rings before the season opener against ULM, celebrating their title in coach Jamie Dixon's first year.

Carlos Mendez: 817-390-7760, @calexmendez

No. 20 TCU 94, SMU 83

SMU (7-3): Chargois 8-13 3-3 21, Foster 7-9 3-4 19, Emelogu 3-9 3-5 10, Milton 6-15 5-6 18, Whitt 5-5 2-2 12, Agau 0-1 0-0 0, Ray 1-2 0-1 2, Douglas 0-0 0-0 0, Landrum 0-4 1-2 1. Totals 30-58 17-23 83.

TCU (9-0): Miller 3-7 3-5 9, Brodziansky 3-4 0-0 7, Williams 7-8 8-10 27, Fisher 2-7 7-8 11, Bane 4-10 3-4 14, Hamdy 4-5 2-2 10, Noi 3-4 7-8 16, Nembhard 0-1 0-0 0, Olden 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-46 30-37 94.

Halftime—TCU 43-38. 3-Point Goals—SMU 6-21 (Foster 2-3, Chargois 2-5, Emelogu 1-4, Milton 1-8, Landrum 0-1), TCU 12-24 (Williams 5-6, Noi 3-3, Bane 3-8, Brodziansky 1-2, Miller 0-1, Nembhard 0-1, Fisher 0-3). Fouled Out—Whitt. Rebounds—SMU 23 (Chargois 7), TCU 31 (Williams 9). Assists—SMU 20 (Milton 9), TCU 21 (Fisher 9). Total Fouls—SMU 28, TCU 19.

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