TCU tops UCF, will face Ge­or­gia Tech

Brodzian­sky leads Horned Frogs’ win with 18 points.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By De­nis P. Gor­man

Jamie Dixon was un­sure what he had in Ken­rich Wil­liams.

Now he knows. So, too, does Cen­tral Florida.

“He’s a player,” Dixon said of Wil­liams, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the sec­ond half to lift Texas Chris­tian to a 68-53 win over Cen­tral Florida in a NIT semi­fi­nal game Tues­day night.

Texas Chris­tian will meet Ge­or­gia Tech in the cham­pi­onship game Thurs­day night.

“We love these guys,” Dixon said. “We just want two more days with them. ... We’ll look for­ward to get­ting ready for Ge­or­gia Tech.”

Wil­liams also grabbed 14 re­bounds and had seven as­sists.

“We’re play­ing through him in the post,” Dixon said of Wil­liams. “And we’re play­ing through him on the perime­ter.

Vladimir Brodzian­sky led the Horned Frogs with 18 points.

Trail­ing by two at half­time, the Horned Frogs opened the sec­ond half with a 16-5 run to take a 45-36 lead. JD Miller sparked the run with three layups and a free throw.

“We were just talk­ing about that in the locker room,” Brodzian­sky said. “We have 20 more min­utes, and if we’re go­ing to last 20 more min­utes, how about just try to come up with blocks and play our hard­est? Try to ex­e­cute.”

TCU (23-15) was helped by Cen­tral Florida, which missed five of its first seven shots from the field in the sec­ond half.

For the game, Cen­tral Florida shot 33 per­cent, in­clud­ing miss­ing 19 of 25 3-point at­tempts.

“I felt we were rush­ing,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. “I felt like we were fran­tic. Like we were get­ting fed up.

“We need to have a lit­tle more poise, and un­for­tu­nately that’s part of growth.”

De­spite all of TCU’s strong play, UCF hung around for a bit. A.J. Davis’ driv­ing one­handed jam with nine min­utes left sliced the deficit to seven at 52-45.

Davis is the son of for­mer NBA player An­to­nio Davis, who was in the MSG crowd.

That was as close as Cen­tral Florida (24-12) would get.

Wil­liams’ lay-in over AAC De­fen­sive Player of the Year Taco Fall with 5:42 left pushed the lead to 56-45.

From that point, the Horned Frogs outscored Cen­tral Florida 12-8 to close out the game.

“We em­pha­sized more driv­ing, pen­e­trat­ing and mak­ing de­ci­sions,” Dixon said.

TCU shot 50 per­cent from the field in the sec­ond half and fin­ished the game 26 of 60 from the field.

“We started (to) hit some guys, get­ting layups on some dump-offs.”

Matt Wil­liams led the Knights with 15 points. B.J. Tay­lor had 10. Davis fin­ished with nine.

“We just didn’t make the shots that we nor­mally make,” Tay­lor said. “Give them credit.”

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