Sooners cap TCU’s winless Big 12 season with rout
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Buddy Hield scored 24 points and 23rd-ranked Oklahoma clinched the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 tournament with a 97-67 victory Saturday at TCU, the league’s first team in 10 years to go through the regular season without winning a conference game.
Isaiah Cousins and Cameron Clark had 18 points each for the Sooners (23-8, 12-6), who have won five of their last six games. Ryan Spangler added 10 points.
Injury-plagued TCU (9-21, 0-18) won nine of its last 10 games before beginning Big 12 play. The Horned Frogs lost their league opener 74-69 to West Virginia, but that ended up being one of only three conference games they lost by single digits — and none were closer.
The last Big 12 team to go without a league win was Texas A&M during the 2003-04 season, when the Aggies were 0-16. That is the same mark Baylor had in 1998-99.
TCU plays seventh-seeded Baylor, which has won seven of its last eight games, in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday night in Kansas City. The winner of that game plays the next night against Oklahoma.
The Horned Frogs went 2-16 last season in their Big 12 debut, with one of the wins being over Oklahoma in the regular-season finale. They also beat then-No. 5 Kansas at home last season.
But there wouldn’t be another upset in the final game at Daniel Meyer Coliseum before the arena undergoes a $59 million renovation that will force the Frogs to play their home games off campus next season.
Jarvis Ray, one of two TCU seniors in their final home game, matched his career high with 18 points. Kyan Anderson, a junior guard and one of only four Horned Frogs to play in every game this season, added 17 points.
After four ties and five lead changes in the first 5 minutes of the game Saturday, Oklahoma took control with a 14-3 run in which five different players scored.
Clark passed inside to Spangler for a reverse layup that put the Sooners up 11-10 and started the go-ahead 4-minute spurt. Hield had a 3-pointer from the left wing and followed a TCU miss with another basket.
When Tyler Neal made a 3-pointer with 11 minutes left in the half, the Sooners were up 23-13, their first double-digit lead.
Hield made a 3-pointer from the right corner at the end of the first half for a 53-38 lead. Hield also had a 3 for the first points of the second half, when the Sooners opened with a 7-0 run.
Hield had five of Oklahoma’s 14 3-pointers, while Cousins made four long-range shots. Coach Lon Kruger cleared his bench with just over 4 minutes left, pulling all of the starters when the Sooners were up 93-58.
Of the 16 players on TCU’s roster, six were sitting on the end of the bench in white TCU polo shirts instead of uniforms not far from second-year coach Trent Johnson.
The non-playing group included two big men who sustained season-ending knee injuries during a team trip to Canada in August — 6-foot-10 center Aaron Durley and 6-8 junior forward Devonta Abron. Durley arrived as a highly touted freshman two years ago who hasn’t played a game yet because of two different knee injuries.