KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Dylan Disu and Christian Bishop scored 15 points apiece, Tyrese Hunter made two free throws in the closing seconds, and seventh-ranked Texas held off No. 22 TCU 66-60 on Friday night in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals.
The win wasn’t in hand until the final minutes, when Micah Peavey’s miss that would have drawn TCU within 60-58 turned into a runout. Marcus Carr converted the layup at the other end for Texas to extend its lead, and Sir'Jabari Rice and Hunter made free throws down the stretch to put the game away.
The second-seeded Longhorns (25-8) will play top-seeded Kansas for the championship on Saturday night.
Mike Miles had 15 points, including his third 3-pointer with just under 6 seconds left in the game, to lead the sixth-seeded Horned Frogs (21-12). Chuck O'Bannon also had 12 points for TCU.
The majority of seats were empty for the second semifinal after Kansas and Iowa State fans, who typically snap up huge numbers of tickets, headed for the doors following the Jayhawks' 71-58 win over the Cyclones. In fact, nearly every sneaker squeak could be heard from the rafters throughout much of the second half.
That probably won't be the case Saturday night, when the third-ranked Jayhawks — and their boisterous fans — are back in the building to play Texas for a second consecutive Big 12 Tournament title.
The Horned Frogs breezed their way into the semifinals by lighting it up from the 3-point arc against Kansas State, when Miles and O'Bannon had six 3s apiece and each poured in 24 points in the easier-than-expected 80-67 victory.
Not surprisingly, Texas was determined to limit the Horned Frogs' open looks on the perimeter. And when they went to the paint, the bigger Longhorns had a decided advantage. So despite missing all six of their own 3s in the first half, the Longhorns still managed to forge a 34-26 lead by the break.
Disu and Bishop kept the Horned Frogs at bay during the second half.
Disu, the former Vanderbilt transfer, was at his best around the rim, where TCU's best defense seemed to be sending him to the foul line. And Bishop, the Creighton transfer, set the tone for the final 20 mintues with a massive putback dunk and another jam a few minutes later, which helped the Longhorns to extend their lead.
They held on from there to ease into the title game for the second time in the last three years.
STILL NO ALLEN
Texas coach Rodney Terry continued to rest forward Timmy Allen, who has a nagging lower leg injury. Allen said after the quarterfinals that he would have played in an NCAA Tournament game and hopes to be back soon.
TCU had plenty of opportunities to pull ahead down the stretch, but Miles missed an open 3 from the wing that would have made it 60-59 and several others had clean looks that didn't go. TCU wound up shooting just 36% from the field.
Texas overcame a 2-for-14 performance from the 3-point line by riding Disu and Bishop in the paint. The two big men helped the Longhorns to a 42-22 edge on points in the paint that the Horned Frogs couldn't overcome.
Texas will play the top-seeded Jayhawks for the tournament title Saturday night.
TCU will head home for Selection Sunday and await its NCAA Tournament seeding.
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