Trent Johnson saw a couple of things he liked Saturday night.
One, a happy locker room.
Two, excellent defense in the final minute.
One followed the other in TCU’s 58-57 victory over Texas at Schollmaier Arena, the Horned Frogs’ first win against the Longhorns almost 21 years to the day.
My goodness. It’s nice to see the kids happy and excited.
TCU coach Trent Johnson
“Boy, I like that locker room now,” Johnson said. “My goodness. It’s nice to see the kids happy and excited.”
With Texas trying for the winning basket, Isaiah Taylor missed. TCU forward Chris Washburn blocked Connor Lammert’s putback attempt, grabbed the rebound and flung it down the court to both avoid getting fouled and expend the final seconds.
It was one of three straight empty trips for the Longhorns in the final 1:12 — after Washburn’s long jumper produced the 58-57 lead.
“We had a foul to give. We wanted to be as aggressive as possible,” Johnson said. “Whether we were in zone or man, we wanted to double-team Taylor. They got a little frenetic. I thought it worked.”
TCU (9-6, 1-2 Big 12) had to rely on its defense after Brandon Parrish, who made 5 of 6 from 3-point range, missed four consecutive free throws in the final 43 seconds.
“We made it tough on ourselves,” Johnson said. “We tried every possible way to give it back to them.”
TCU snapped an 11-game losing streak to Texas (9-6, 1-2). The last Horned Frogs victory came Jan. 10, 1995, in Fort Worth. Kurt Thomas, who played in that game, was in attendance Saturday night as part of a crowd of 6,673 — the largest of the four games at Schollmaier Arena so far.
I can’t tell you what the kids have been going through, how hard they’ve been working to try to get over the hump and play good basketball.
Washburn, making his first start of the season since returning from a broken thumb, finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 30 minutes. He had scored 5, 7 and 5 points in his first three games.
“It’s nice to have him out there. He was in a good rhythm,” Johnson said. “Couple times, he got caught reverse-pivoting too much and made it complicated. But he was better.
“We need him on the floor. He helps us more defensively than he does offensively, believe it or not, because he understands the zone. He’s quick to the ball. He’s a versatile 4-man who can really guard bigs and can go out on the perimeter sometimes and guard smalls.”
TCU finished with a 40-31 edge in rebounds. Texas was just 3-for-21 shooting from 3-point range.
Texas coach Shaka Smart was complimentary of the 6-foot-8 Washburn, a junior from South Grand Prairie. Washburn’s layup had tied the score 52-52 with 3:52 to go.
“He was very, very aggressive from the opening tip,” Smart said. “He’s a little bit unorthodox because he’s left-handed, and he does a great job of continuing to pivot even after he picks up his dribble. I thought he had a really good game.
“Between him and Parrish making 3s, that really gave them a big lift.”
TCU did not make any players available for interviews.
“It’s a good win for us,” Johnson said. “I can’t tell you what the kids have been going through, how hard they’ve been working to try to get over the hump and play good basketball. So it’s a good win for us.”
TEXAS (9-6) Lammert 0-7 1-2 1, Ibeh 3-3 0-0 6, Taylor 6-16 1-3 13, Felix 7-12 2-2 16, Yancy 2-4 0-0 5, Mack 0-1 0-0 0, Davis Jr. 2-9 0-0 6, Roach Jr. 1-4 0-0 2, Cleare 2-6 4-4 8. Totals 23-62 8-11 57.
TCU (9-6) Shepherd 2-11 1-2 5, Washburn 5-9 4-6 14, M. Williams 1-3 0-0 2, Trent 1-4 1-2 3, Parrish 5-6 0-4 15, Collins 2-5 3-4 7, Brodziansky 0-2 3-4 3, Miller 3-6 1-2 7, Abron 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 20-47 13-24 58.
Halftime—TCU 34-32. 3-Point Goals—Texas 3-21 (Davis Jr. 2-8, Yancy 1-3, Mack 0-1, Taylor 0-1, Felix 0-4, Lammert 0-4), TCU 5-12 (Parrish 5-6, Brodziansky 0-1, Trent 0-1, Miller 0-1, Collins 0-3). Fouled Out—Ibeh. Rebounds—Texas 31 (Lammert 11), TCU 40 (Collins, Washburn 8). Assists—Texas 12 (Taylor 4), TCU 12 (Collins 4). Total Fouls—Texas 21, TCU 14. Technicals—Davis Jr., Texas Bench, Parrish. A—6,673.