Dallas, TX – TCU played in front of a very large crowd in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum Saturday night, but came up short, falling to No. 8 Kansas 91-69. Star forward Andrew Wiggins scored 19 of his career-high 27 points in the first half as Kansas answered last year’s loss by taking control early in the win.
The Jayhawks won their sixth straight game and remained the only Big 12 team without a conference league loss. In their visit to Fort Worth last year, the Jayhawks became the first top-five team to lose to the Horned Frogs in a 62-55 defeat. This year, Kansas had 53 points at halftime and led by as many as 24 in the first half. Brandon Parrish scored 15 points to lead TCU. The Horned Frogs are the only conference team without a league win and are 2-23 in their two Big 12 seasons.
Joel Embiid had 14 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots for Kansas before fouling out. Wayne Selden Jr. scored 12, and Perry Ellis had eight points and 14 rebounds. TCU’s student section flashed last year’s score in huge block numbers before the opening tip in case the Jayhawks had forgotten, but Wiggins was hardly fazed.
The top-scoring freshman in the Big 12 made his first three shots and had a pair of 3-pointers as well as an alley-oop dunk from Selden in the first half. Wiggins topped his previous career best of 25 points against Florida on Dec. 10 and led Kansas with five assists. Wiggins also made it easier for the Jayhawks to exploit their size advantage inside. Jamari Traylor and Embiid had back-to-back dunks to put the Jayhawks up 14-6, surpassing their halftime total of 13 points from last year just 4 1/2 minutes into the game.
Kansas, which shot a season-low 30 percent in last year’s loss, was at 62 percent in the first half, which ended with the Jayhawks in front by 21. The Jayhawks shot 57 percent for the game. Conner Frankamp and Wiggins hit consecutive 3-pointers to finish a 13-2 run that put Kansas up 43-22.
Embiid, a 7-footer from Cameroon, showed his versatility, beating Amric Fields with a strong spin move for a layup shortly before getting a steal, dribbling the length of the floor and getting fouled driving for a layup. He made both free throws for Kansas’ biggest first-half lead at 51-27. Fields had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Horned Frogs, who shot 56 percent in the second half to keep the game from getting completely out of hand. Kyan Anderson added 12 points and eight assists.
Morgan Solsberry is a Correspondent and Scout for NetScouts Basketball.