via The Sports Xchange
Alex Robinson scored 14 points and Kenrich Williams added 13 points and 10 rebounds as TCU used a decisive run in the final nine minutes to beat Fresno State 66-59 on Wednesday in the first round of the NIT at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
The game was tied at 47 with 9:28 to play before fourth-seeded TCU reeled off a 13-2 run in 4:12 to take the lead for good.
Robinson had eight points in the decisive stretch and 11 points in the second half.
TCU (20-15) plays No. 1 seed Iowa in the second round. The Horned Frogs lost their final seven regular-season games before beating Oklahoma and top-ranked Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament.
Fifth-seeded Fresno State (20-13) was led by Deshon Taylor’s 13 points while Jaron Hopkins added 12 for the Bulldogs. Fresno State finished fourth in the Mountain West Conference and had won six of its past seven games.
This is TCU’s seventh appearance in the NIT and the first since 2005, when the Horned Frogs advanced past the first two rounds before falling at Maryland in the quarterfinals. TCU last hosted the NIT in 1999 when it defeated Nebraska in the second round.
The Horned Frogs jumped on Fresno State early and led by as much as 12 points in the first half before settling for a 30-25 lead at halftime. The Bulldogs got back in the game with a 15-8 run over the final 8:20 that included two 3-pointers by Taylor.
TCU outshot Fresno State 35.7 percent to 33.3 percent and outrebounded the Bulldogs 21-17 over the first 20 minutes. The Horned Frogs were led by Williams’ nine points in the half while Taylor paced Fresno State with six points.