TCU was hoping for a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament after a 19-year hiatus, but a 1-6 stretch near the end of the season and a loss to No. 14 Kansas State in the Big 12 Tournament solidified its spot in the NIT. The Horned Frogs, who won college basketball's longest-standing tournament in 2017, are one of four No. 1 seeds in the 32-team bracket and will host eighth seed Sam Houston State on Wednesday.
In TCU's must-win quarterfinal matchup with the top-seeded Wildcats, junior Desmond Bane scored 16 points while senior Alex Robinson had 12, seven rebounds and seven assists, and the Horned Frogs led by as many as 12 in the first half before falling 70-61. "Proud of 20 wins in a really tough conference. We've proved that we're a very good team. However, we've come up short against the top-10 teams, top-12 teams in the country in our league," coach Jamie Dixon stated after the Kansas State loss. The Bearkats received an automatic bid into the NIT by virtue of claiming this year's Southland Conference regular-season championship prior to getting knocked off in the semifinals of the conference tournament 79-76 by fourth-seeded New Orleans. "I think that this tournament and this season is a lot like life," coach Jason Hooten told reporters. "The guys were disappointed that we didn't reach the ultimate goal, but we have a lot to be proud of. We've accomplished a lot and now have the opportunity play in oldest running tourney out there, and for the first time in the history of our school."
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ABOUT SAM HOUSTON STATE (21-11): Kai Mitchell (12.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 54.8 field-goal percentage), conference newcomer of the year, had 16 points and 12 rebounds against New Orleans but conference player of the year Cameron Delaney was limited to 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting. The 6-4 Delaney is averaging 13.3 points and 5.5 rebounds overall but was even better in conference play, as a senior ranked ninth Southland-only games with 15.6 points and buried a league-best 49.1 percent (52-of-106) of his 3-pointers. "He didn't even start last year, but we had an injury and he started (two) games in CIT and I think that made a big difference for him," Hooten told reporters. "He has worked so hard, and you love to see those kinds of stories have a positive ending because hard work pays off. It's nice to see the best player off the best team get the recognition."
ABOUT TCU (20-13): Bane, who became the third Horned Frog all-time to earn Big 12 second team all-conference honors, leads the team in scoring (15.2), shooting 41.4 percent from behind the arc while adding 5.5 rebounds along with 2.4 assists per game. Robinson (12.7 points, team-high 1.5 steals), a third team all-conference pick and league leader in assists (7.0), has at least five in eight straight games - and his 230 for the season is No. 2 all-time at TCU. Horned Frogs 6-11 center Kevin Samuel (7.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks) will have a four-inch height advantage on all of the starters for Sam Houston, and 6-8 senior JD Miller (10.7 points , 6.6 rebounds) along with sophomore Kouat Noi (14.1 points, 5.0 rebounds) are likely to challenge the Bearkats' smallish front line.
1. The victor advances to face the winner of the matchup between No. 4 Nebraska and No. 5 Butler.
2. Sam Houston and TCU have not met since the 2002-03 season when TCU handed the Bearkats a 91-81 loss in Fort Worth, Texas. The Horned Frogs lead the all-time series 8-2, having won each of the last eight meetings.
3. The Bearkats rank 24th in the nation in free-throw percentage behind Cameron Delaney (82.2) and his brother Josh (84.8), and they are tied for 44th in 3-pointers made.
sam-houston-st-bearkats-basketball Stats 2018-2019
Player GP GS P A PH FGA FGM FTA FTM 3PFGA 3PFG RO Player GP GS P A PH FGA FGM FTA FTM 3PFGA 3PFG RO Cameron Delaney 31 0 416 60 25 283 136 88 72 165 72 50 Kai Mitchell 31 0 373 34 21 296 160 78 53 3 0 75 Josh Delaney 31 0 319 149 30 270 100 75 63 160 56 15 Marcus Harris 31 0 261 72 23 221 91 61 43 108 36 8 Chad Bowie 28 0 203 68 21 174 72 43 33 73 26 12
Player GP GS RD B S TO FP FT Player GP GS RD B S TO FP FT Kai Mitchell 31 0 152 23 32 50 98 0 Cameron Delaney 31 0 120 14 28 51 64 0 Zach Nutall 31 0 71 10 19 25 41 0 Chad Bowie 28 0 63 4 45 57 58 0 R.J. Smith 28 0 63 2 11 20 75 0
Sam Houston St. Bearkats vs. Texas Christian Horned Frogs Preview and Predictions 03-20-2019 in NCAAB
FinishedDaniel-Meyer Coliseum Fort Worth
Fort Worth, Texas, USA.