The "better than you think" TCU Horned Frogs hung with mighty Kansas for most of the game in Lawrence on Saturday afternoon but eventually fell to the Jayhawks by an 81-72 final score.
The first half was the very definition of a back-and-forth affair as the teams traded leads throughout the first 15 minutes or so of play. Kansas finally went up by seven points at 33-26 at the 2:46 mark of the first half, and the Jayhawks would settle into halftime with a 35-29 lead.
TCU would immediately make a run at the Jayhawks at the beginning of the second half but could only manage to get within two points at any given time. Kansas would weather the TCU assault and would begin to pull away. At the 14:14 mark, the Jayhawks had a 10-point, 47-37 lead. The Frogs would close to within five shortly after, but Kansas would reestablish control and keep the visitors at arm's length the rest of the way. KU never really put TCU away, but past the 9:00 mark TCU was never much of a threat to win the ballgame and the Jayhawks notched the win.
One thing that kept TCU in the game was their three-point shooting. Coming in to the game, TCU as a team was shooting threes at a 32.7% clip - but only 26.7% in Big 12 play. Today the Frogs went 35.7%, but if we take out the last three 3s the Frogs took in the last 45 seconds left in the game, it was a much better (for them) 45.4%.
Perry Ellis led the Jayhawks with 23 points on 9/10 shooting. Devonte Graham added 20 more on 7/7 shooting and Frank Mason chipped in 14 on 5/8 shooting.
Once again, Kansas was outrebounded by their opponent - TCU won that battle 30-29. Perry Ellis grabbed seven boards and Brannen Greene chipped in six more.
As a team, Kansas shot 4/10 (40%) from 3-pt range while TCU went 5/14 (35.7%) as mentioned earlier. Kansas hit 21/30 (70%) free throws to TCU's 19/26 (73.1%).
Up next, Kansas will travel to Manhattan, KS for a Big Monday matchup with K-State in Allen Fieldhouse West (aka Bramlage Coliseum) on Monday, Feb 23 at 8 PM Jayhawk time.