A strong second half and 25 points from Kouat Noi led TCU to a 71-58 win over Creighton in the quarterfinals of the NIT Tuesday at Schollmaier Arena.
After trailing by three at halftime, the Horned Frogs (23-15) scored the first 16 points of the second half, nine by Noi, and did not trail again the rest of the game. TCU won its eighth-straight NIT game and advanced to the NIT semifinal for the second time in three years.
TCU and Creighton (20-15) both started sluggish with a combined 10 points through the first four and a half minutes of action. It did not last for long as both sides began to click on offense. The Frogs and Bluejays traded baskets for the remainder of the half. The Frogs buckled down on defense, however, forcing four Creighton turnovers in the last five minutes of the half. The Bluejays took a 33-30 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
The Frogs made five of their first six shots in the second half. TCU’s 16-0 run was highlighted by back-to-back slams from Kevin Samuel and JD Miller, who finished with 15 points. The Frogs’ lead dipped to eight, 49-41, with 14:04 to play, but another Noi three one minute later pushed the lead to 11. TCU did not lead by fewer than 10 the rest of the game.
The Frogs shot 57.7 percent from the field in the second half to offset the Bluejays hot shooting in the first half (52.2 percent). TCU finished 46.4 percent for the game and the Frogs held Creighton to 25.7 percent in the second half and 36.2 percent for the game.
TCU will play the winner of Wednesday’s quarterfinal between Colorado and Texas in the semifinals of the NIT. The game will be played on Tuesday at either 6 or 8 p.m. CT on ESPN in New York City at Madison Square Garden.
Courtesy; TCU Basketball