Collins sends TCU to 67-62 win over Texas Tech in Big 12s
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) TCU had been in most of its games this season, only to come up short in the closing minutes.
The Horned Frogs used that experience to their advantage Wednesday.
Chauncey Collins scored 19 points, hitting three free throws in the final seconds, and the Big 12 tournament's No. 10 seed dealt a major blow to Texas Tech's NCAA Tournament hopes with a 67-62 victory in the first round at the Sprint Center.
''A lot of games we came close, the last four minutes,'' Collins said. ''During that timeout, it was a tied ballgame, we just had to give it our all, put our backs against the wall and live with the results.''
Brandon Parrish added 15 points, Vlad Brodziansky had 13 and Malique Trent had 10 for the Horned Frogs (12-20), who scuffled into the Sprint Center having lost seven consecutive games but will now face No. 9 West Virginia - the tournament's second seed - in Thursday's quarterfinal round.
''Anybody want to help me out by taking Huggs and his players out?'' TCU coach Trent Johnson asked.
Justin Gray and Zach Smith scored 13 points apiece for the seventh-seeded Red Raiders (19-12), who now face a long weekend of waiting. Texas Tech has a strong RPI thanks to a series of wins over ranked teams, but could have used a victory in the Big 12 tournament to make Selection Sunday more comfortable.
''We've proven ourselves throughout the whole season, won big games when we needed to win big games,'' Gray said. ''I think we've put ourselves in a pretty good position to make the tournament.''
The Red Raiders forged a 31-30 halftime lead despite a virtuoso effort from Collins, who was 4 of 5 from beyond the arc and had 16 points by the intermission.
The 6-foot sophomore left the crowd in Sprint Center buzzing when he dunked over a defender late in the first half to give the Horned Frogs a brief lead. Collins appeared to land awkwardly after the dunk, though, and he held his hip with a grimace while running back on defense.
Asked where the dunk ranked among his best plays, he replied: ''No. 1, definitely.''
While the Horned Frogs' leading scorer never left the game, he seemed to lose some of his pep. But the rest of his teammates picked up the slack early in the second half, embarking on a 13-0 run to take a 43-36 lead. Parrish did most of the damage, knocking down a pair of 3s during the charge.
The Red Raiders countered with a 9-2 run of their own to knot the game 45-all.
The matchup between old Southwest Conference rivals was tied five more times down the stretch, the last time coming at 58-58 on a basket by Smith with just over a minute left.
Brodziansky scored with a scooping layup to give TCU the lead back, then Trent corralled Aaron Ross's missed shot and raced up court, converting a 3-point play for a 63-58 lead with 34.3 seconds to go.
Smith scored quickly at the other end and Texas Tech fouled Collins, who only managed to make the first of two free throws. Then, after Ross scored his only points of the game to make it 64-62 with 16 seconds left, Collins was sent to the foul line once more - this time he made both of the shots.
Texas Tech squandered its last offensive chance and Brodziansky hit one more foul shot to seal it.
''The body of work we put in throughout the year, strength of schedule, wins we've had, I think we have a very good shot at getting in,'' Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said of the NCAA Tournament. ''We obviously didn't help ourselves tonight, but TCU - you get into a tournament like this, somebody is going to get beat.''
TCU: Karviar Shepherd was scoreless, missing his only field-goal attempt in 10 minutes. ... The Horned Frogs improved to 9-2 when holding opponents to 40 percent of worse from the field. Texas Tech shot 39.7.
Texas Tech: Toddrick Gotcher had nine points on 3-for-10 shooting. ... The Red Raiders have lost four straight in the Big 12 Tournament. ... Texas Tech swept the season series from TCU.
The last time the Horned Frogs beat the Red Raiders in a conference tournament was 1989, during their days in the Southwest. It was the first postseason meeting between the teams since 1993.
TCU plays the Mountaineers on Thursday.
Texas Tech awaits its NCAA Tournament fate.