FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Texas freshman Connor Lammert thought he'd get in trouble for taking off down the floor instead of going after a rebound.
His game-changing circus shot got him off the hook Tuesday night.
Lammert scored 13 points, including the go-ahead bucket followed soon by an improbable three-point play on a long pass from Myck Kabongo, and the Longhorns thwarted a TCU comeback for a 68-59 win, their first of the season on the road.
"I just threw it up there to be honest," Lammert said. "I was super surprised it went in. I think the whole rest of the stadium was too. It was a good feed by Myck and just an interesting play."
The Longhorns (12-14, 4-9 Big 12) were ahead 55-50 after a three-point play by Demarcus Holland when TCU's Nate Butler Lind missed his third straight free throw and the Horned Frogs grabbed the offensive rebound. After Garlon Green missed a shot, Lammert beat everyone down the floor, turned as he caught the pass from Kabongo under the basket and flipped it in as he was getting fouled and falling out of bounds.
Lammert, who led Texas with seven rebounds, made the free throw for a 58-50 lead.
"He actually bailed Myck out on that a bit," said Texas coach Rick Barnes, whose team was 0-7 on the road coming in. "It was not a particularly great pass, but he was able to secure it."
Ioannis Papapetrou hit three 3-pointers early in the second half and led the Longhorns with 15. Kabongo had 12 points and six assists in his third game back from a 23-game NCAA suspension for accepting airfare and personal training instruction and lying about it to school officials.
Garlon Green had 15 to lead the Horned Frogs (10-16, 1-12), which lost their fourth straight since an upset of No. 9 Kansas. Kyan Anderson had 10 points and eight assists.
TCU was down five in the final two minutes when Lammert missed a 3-pointer and Jonathan Holmes grabbed the offensive rebound. With the second chance, Holland beat the shot clock with a 3-pointer for a 67-59 Texas lead with 1:02 remaining.
"I thought Demarcus did some good things," Barnes said. "I was really happy for him to make that shot."
The Horned Frogs had trailed by as many as 12 in the second half before pulling even for the first time since the opening tip when Butler Lind hit both free throws to make it 48-all with 8:43 remaining. Lind was fouled while rebounding on the defensive end when Papapetrou barely hit the backboard on a 3-point attempt with the shot clock about to expire.
"We made good stops. We didn't everything we had to do," said TCU's Devonta Abron, who had seven points and a game-high 11 rebounds. "They made big shots. We've just got to stick together at the end."
Papapetrou had three 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the second half. He hit one from the left corner while falling out of bounds, then connected from the left wing for a 46-39 lead after a TCU turnover when the Horned Frogs had a chance to get within two.
TCU cut a 41-30 lead to four with a 7-0 run that ended with two free throws from Anderson after he stole the ball from Kabongo, who recovered it in the backcourt but lost it again on the offensive end, leading to a foul while Anderson was driving for a layup.
"I thought we were as efficient offensively as we were all year," first-year TCU coach Trent Johnson said. "We've known all year long that our margin for error is extremely slim so we have to play close to perfect."
Green scored 11 in the first half for TCU, including a reverse layup which capped a 6-0 run to get the Horned Frogs within 24-21. He was 4 of 6 from the field before halftime.
Kabongo answered Green's reverse with a quick layup on the other end and scored twice more on quick drives to push the Texas lead backm to 33-25 at halftime.
Julien Lewis had all seven of his first-half points in the first 10 minutes, capped by a 3-pointer that put the Longhorns ahead 21-11. Lewis didn't score again and picked up his fourth foul midway through the second half.