TCU fans, players celebrate trip to New York in NIT

TCU players and fans revel in Tuesday's 86-68 victory over Richmond that sealed a trip for New York for the NIT semifinals. Video by Jimmy Burch
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TCU players and fans revel in Tuesday's 86-68 victory over Richmond that sealed a trip for New York for the NIT semifinals. Video by Jimmy Burch
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TCU

TCU blows by Richmond on way to NIT Final Four in New York

By Jimmy Burch

jburch@star-telegram.com

March 21, 2017 08:04 PM

TCU’s road to national relevance under first-year men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon will conclude in New York, with the chance for an NIT championship.

The Horned Frogs knocked off Richmond 86-68 in Tuesday’s tournament quarterfinals in Schollmaier Arena to secure a spot in next week’s NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden.

Behind significant contributions from forward Vladimir Brodziansky and guard Kenrich Williams, TCU (22-15) extended a turnaround season that has seen the Frogs top the 20-win mark for the first time in 12 years and secure the school’s first victory over the nation’s top-ranked team, March 9 against Kansas.

Brodziansky led the Frogs with a team-high 20 points, including 16 in the first half when the Frogs took control of the game and built a 41-26 halftime lead in front of an announced crowd of 5,946 (capacity: 6,700). Williams (11 points, 14 rebounds) contributed his 17th double-double of the season, grabbing 10 caroms before intermission and helping the Frogs put away Richmond (22-13), a third-place finisher in the Atlantic 10 during the regular season.

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The victory allowed TCU to reach the NIT semifinals for the first time in school history and marks the first time the Frogs have been one of the final four teams standing in any postseason tournament. TCU, a 12-21 team last season, now has improved by 10 wins over last year’s total under former coach Trent Johnson.

The Frogs wasted little time in seizing control against Richmond, erasing the Spiders’ brief, one-point lead within the first three minutes and building a 41-23 lead on a pair of Brodziansky free throws with 1:13 remaining in the first half. TCU extended the advantage past 20 points for the first time, 54-33, on a Brandon Parrish three-pointer with 15:47 remaining.

TCU never was seriously pushed thereafter while punching its ticket to next week’s semifinals in Madison Square Garden against either Illinios or Central Florida. Four Frogs finished as double-digit scorers and two others had at least eight points.

After the contest, Dixon and the team’s four seniors thanked the crowd as Frank Sinatra’s iconic verson of New York, New York blared over the arena PA system.

RICHMOND (22-13): Cline 15-24 3-4 33, Jones 3-10 2-2 9, Buckingham 4-8 0-0 11, Fore 4-8 1-2 10, Sherod 1-1 0-0 2, Abakah 0-0 0-0 0, Friendshuh 0-0 0-0 0, Wood 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 0-3 1-2 1, Kirby 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 28-57 7-10 68.

TCU (22-15): Brodziansky 5-10 10-11 20, Miller 2-5 0-0 5, Bane 5-9 0-0 13, Robinson 6-10 0-0 12, K.Williams 5-9 0-0 11, Shepherd 3-4 2-2 8, Washburn 2-3 0-0 4, B.Parrish 3-8 0-0 8, M.Williams 2-5 0-0 5, Dry 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-64 12-13 86.

Halftime—TCU 41-26. 3-Point Goals—Richmond 5-21 (Buckingham 3-6, Fore 1-2, Jones 1-5, Wood 0-1, Kirby 0-1, Johnson 0-2, Cline 0-4), TCU 8-23 (Bane 3-6, B.Parrish 2-6, K.Williams 1-3, M.Williams 1-3, Miller 1-3, Robinson 0-2). Fouled Out—Fore. Rebounds—Richmond 19 (Cline 7), TCU 39 (K.Williams 14). Assists—Richmond 20 (Cline 6), TCU 23 (K.Williams 10). Total Fouls—Richmond 16, TCU 13.