TCU, picked last in Big 12, tops Okla St 52-40 for 3-0 start
The Associated Press - January 13, 2020 10:53 am
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Desmond Bane was well aware TCU was picked to finish last by Big 12 coaches in a preseason poll.
After the Horned Frogs topped Oklahoma State 52-40 Saturday, their first game against a ranked team this season is coming next, followed by plenty of other tests in the difficult conference. Bane will take where his team stands at the moment.
Bane led TCU with 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists and the Horned Frogs beat Oklahoma State 52-40 on a cold-shooting contest for both teams.
The Horned Frogs (12-3, 3-0 Big 12) won their first three Big 12 games for the first time since joining the conference in 2012.
All three wins have come against teams that started the day without a league victory. After a visit Tuesday to No. 17 West Virginia, where TCU has never won, a home game against 22nd-ranked Texas Tech, a 2019 national finalist, looms a week later.
“It’s obviously great to be off to a 3-0 start,” Bane said. “But we’re on a plane heading to West Virginia so we have to keep our eyes up and keep working.”
Bane, who was 6 of 15 from the field, became the 10th player in TCU history to reach 1,500 career points and also passed Lee Nailon for ninth all-time in career scoring. The senior guard has 1,510 points.
Bane scored the final seven points of the first half to break a 17-17 tie, capped by a 3-pointer that was the first field goal for the Horned Frogs in seven minutes. TCU’s lead was never below five after that.
“You just want to win every opportunity you get out there,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “Obviously, home and away and who you’re playing factors in, but we’ve been playing better. Our defense is better.”
Lindy Waters III, Oklahoma State’s leading scorer, missed all eight of his shots while getting shut out as the Big 12’s worst-shooting team was at 30% from the field and made just two of 19 from 3. The senior guard was scoreless for the first time since his freshman year.
Issac Likekele scored 12 points and Cameron McGriff had 11 for Oklahoma State (9-6, 0-3).
“We’re a better shooting team than we’ve shot,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said. “We’ve got some psychological issues right now.”
Francisco Farabello added 10 points for the Horned Frogs, while big man Kevin Samuel didn’t score but had eight rebounds and three blocks. TCU shot 33% and made eight of 25 from long range, including five of 12 after halftime.
The Cowboys lost their second straight game when holding a team under 60 points after going 12-0 in such games in three seasons under Boynton.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are 3 of 39 from 3-point range over their past two games. Oklahoma State is in the top 30 nationally in field goal percentage defense, but the offense isn’t doing its part. The Cowboys scored a season-low 40 and are averaging 48 points per game during their 0-3 start in the Big 12.
TCU: It’s the first 3-0 start in conference since 1997-98 when the Horned Frogs went 14-0 in the Western Athletic Conference under Billy Tubbs. That was the most recent NCAA Tournament team when Dixon got the job in 2016 and took his alma mater to the tournament in his second season.
The Horned Frogs had just two returning starters in Bane and Samuel, and some of their success depended on new contributors stepping up. Farabello reached double figures for the second time as a freshman and has played at least 25 minutes off the bench in each Big 12 game.
“It gives me a lot of confidence, being a freshman,” Farabello said. “Today I played 31 minutes, so it’s a good look going into the future and I’m going to be more comfortable as time goes on.”
Oklahoma State: Hosts Texas on Wednesday.
TCU: The Horned Frogs are 0-7 in Morgantown, including a 104-96 loss in triple overtime last season. It was one of just four conference wins for West Virginia.