Williams, Robinson pace TCU over Fresno State 66-59 in NIT

TCU wins 66-59 over Fresno State in the first round of National Invitational Tournament.

Brett Hoffman

FORT WORTH–TCU defeated Fresno State 66-59 in a National Invitational Tournament opening round game before 4,271 fans on Wednesday night at Schollmaier Arena.

The Horned Frogs were led by sophomore guard Alex Robinson, who scored 14 points, and TCU junior guard Kenrich Williams, who had 13.

TCU will play a road game at Iowa at 6:30 p.m. CT on Sunday in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa advanced to the second round by defeating South Dakota 87-75 on Wednesday night.

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TCU improved to 20-15. Fresno State finished the year at 20-13.

“It wasn’t pretty for us offensively, but we ground it out,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said.

TCU took a commanding early lead. TCU led by 12, 22-10, when Williams hit a pair of free throws with 9:11 remaining in the first half. But the Horned Frogs allowed Fresno State to go on a scoring spree late in the second half.

TCU led 30-25 at the end of the first half.

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Fresno State rallied during the early parts of the second half and took a one point lead over TCU, 44-43, when Bryson Williams hit a jumper with 11:49 remaining in the game.

TCU regained the lead when Kenrich Williams dunked it. The Frogs regained the lead, 44-43, with 11:26 remaining and they kept the lead throughout the remainder of the game.

The Frogs took control of the game after hitting a pair of back-to-back three pointers. Robinson hit the first one with 7:18 remaining to make the score 55-49. Jaylin Fisher hit the second three-pointer with 6:26 remaining to give TCH a 58-49 lead.

After that, the Horned Frogs held off Fresno State’s rally attempt and won the game by seven points, 66-59.

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TCU’s Robinson said the Horned Frogs played passionately.

“We just stayed aggressive as a team and played great defense,” Robinson said. “It was a huge boost to our program.”