Sophomore forward Kouat Noi scored 22 points to help TCU hold off a second-half rally to beat Florida 55-50 in an SEC/Big 12 Challenge game at Fort Worth, Texas.
Junior guard Desmond Bane added 17 points for the Horned Frogs (15-4), including four free throws in the final 22 seconds to seal the win.
Senior guard KeVaughn Allen led the Gators (11-8) with 11 points. Freshman forward Keyontae Johnson added nine points and eight rebounds, while senior center Kevarrius Hayes had eight points and five blocked shots.
Florida was unable to overcome a sluggish start offensively, scoring just one basket in the first 11:35 of the game. TCU led by as many as 16 points in the first half and 12 points at halftime, but Florida was able to rally back, tying the score at 34 with 13:13 remaining in the second half on a 3-pointer by freshman point guard Andrew Nembhard.
But with the score tied at 36, TCU re-took control of the game with an 8-0 run. Noi scored the first five points of the run with an inside layup and a 3-pointer, and freshman forward Lat Mayen made a 3-pointer to put the Horned Frogs up 44-36 with 9:43 left.
From there, TCU maintained the lead for the rest of the game.
Noi scored TCU’s first seven points, all on inside baskets, and the Horned Frogs jumped to a quick 11-0 lead. TCU extended its lead to as many as 16 points in the first half, going up 27-11 on a 3-pointer by Bane.
Florida closed the half on a 9-5 run. Nembhard made a 3-pointer to cut TCU’s lead to 29-16. Then, after a Noi 3-pointer, Allen made a basket in transition, and Hayes scored an inside basket with 20.3 seconds left in the half to cut TCU’s lead to 32-20 at halftime.
The loss dropped Florida to 4-2 in SEC/Big 12 Challenge games.
—Field Level Media