- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Texas Christian nearly pulled off the kind of win that can turn around a rough season.

The Horned Frogs were tied with No. 25 Oklahoma with 3:46 to play but didn’t make a field goal the rest of the way. Ryan Spangler scored all 13 of his points in the second half and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds to help the Sooners hold off TCU 77-69 Wednesday night.

The Horned Frogs were winless in Big 12 play entering the game against an Oklahoma squad that already had beaten ranked opponents Iowa State and Baylor in league play. TCU coach Trent Johnson said his team made progress and he hopes it can build on the effort.

“We’re a lot better team than we’ve shown previously in five league games,” he said. “Hopefully, this will give us some confidence.”

Buddy Hield had 16 points and Cameron Clark added 15 for the Sooners (15-4, 4-2), who moved into a tie for second place in the conference despite struggling against the last-place team in the league.

Kyan Anderson scored 23 points and Amric Fields added 15 for TCU (9-9, 0-6), which lost its previous four conference games by an average of 22 points. Karviar Shepherd added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Horned Frogs.

“That’s probably as well as we’ve played during league play,” Johnson said.

Texas Christian trailed 43-42 in the opening minutes of the second half before Isaiah Cousins made a jumper, then a steal by Clark led to a dunk by Hield that gave Oklahoma a 47-42 lead.

TCU scored the next five points to tie the score at 47 with about 13 minutes to play.

Spangler made his first basket of the game, was fouled and made the free throw to give Oklahoma the lead again. A 3-pointer by Clark pushed Oklahoma’s advantage to 57-49 with just under 11 minutes remaining. A steal and layup by Clark bumped the Sooners’ lead to 10.

Fields made a 3-pointer, then Oklahoma turned the ball over and Anderson hit a 3 to trim OU’s lead to 59-55. Fields tied the score at 66 on a layup with 3:46 remaining, but Oklahoma held the Horned Frogs without a field goal the rest of the way. Spangler hit a 3-pointer with 33 seconds remaining, just his third of the season, to give the Sooners a 77-67 lead.

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said TCU had the potential to be dangerous.

“They’ve been right there in some ballgames,” Kruger said. “I know they probably felt good about the way they played and battled. Coach Johnson’s teams are always going to do that. You see them on tape and knew they could come in here and cause a lot of trouble if we didn’t make shots and do things.”


Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

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