Men’s basketball has ‘worst performance of the year’ against No. 10 Texas Tech
What looked like what would be another tightly-contested Big 12 game for TCU turned ugly at Schollmaier Arena Saturday with Texas Tech claiming an 83-71 Red Raider victory.
“Texas Tech is a good team,” TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said. “They played good, and then combine that with our worst performance of the year. There wasn’t anything we did well today.”
The driving factor behind the Horned Frog drought were turnovers, as TCU gave away the basketball eight times to Texas Tech’s two turnovers. The Red Raiders were able capitalize off those Horned Frog giveaways for 11 points during the run. Texas Tech was also prolific from behind the arc, hitting four three-pointers during the stretch.
“Our energy was low from the jump and they were able to jump out to an early lead,” TCU guard Desmond Bane said. “It’s something we have to find within ourselves, it’s a toughness thing. Coach Dixon does a good job of preparing us, but we just have to come together and be ready to play from the jump.”
After the Horned Frogs trimmed their deficit back down to 14, 32-18, the Red Raiders scored 12 more points in a row to extend their lead to 26, 44-18, with 2:56 to play before halftime. To top off TCU’s tough first 20 minutes, Tech’s Keenan Evans hit a buzzer-beating jumper, pushing the Red Raiders lead to 24, 48-24.
“Our 17 turnovers lent to that,” Dixon said. “Our offense caused some of the problems too among the many that we had.”
TCU committed one less turnover, 11, than their rebound total, 12, in the first half. The Red Raiders held a slight edge on the boards with 15, but Texas Tech scored 18 points off TCU’s turnovers while the Horned Frogs couldn’t capitalize on any the three Red Raider giveaways.
Texas Tech shot an efficient 55 percent from the field and a blistering 62 percent from three, 8-13, and TCU made 43 percent of its looks in the first 20 minutes in addition to 38 percent from behind the arc, 3-8.
“We left the other guys open to shoot it, that wasn’t the game plan,” Dixon said.
The Red Raider advantage climbed to as high as 28 early in the second half following a dunk from guard Zhaire Smith, 52-24.
The Horned Frogs gained some ground in the final ten minutes, using a 15-3 run to cut the Texas Tech edge to 13, 61-48 with seven minutes to play. TCU forward Vladimir Brodziansky scored five points during the balanced scoring stretch.
Brodziansky finished with a team-high 18 points, while Bane finished with 13. TCU guard Kenrich Williams added his tenth double-double this season with 12 points in combination with 13 rebounds.
The Horned Frogs ended up shooting 49 percent from the field, just one percent lower than the Red Raider’s even 50 percent, and TCU won the battle on the glass by out-rebounding Texas Tech by four, 31-27.
“We got a little better offensively but when you get beat like this you have a lot of concerns,” Dixon said. “We’ll go back to work and at least we outscored them by 12 in the second half. Obviously there are no consolation prizes.”
TCU ended up with a back-breaking 17 turnovers that became 22 Texas Tech points while the Horned Frogs could only generate 12 points off the Red Raiders’ 11 turnovers.
The free throw line also held TCU back Saturday with the Horned Frogs missing nine free throws to shoot 61 percent from the charity stripe whereas Texas Tech took advantage of its opportunities making all but four of its 21 free throw attempts, shooting 81 percent on free throws.
“We missed free throws early, those are draining,” Dixon said. “We missed our first four. That’s going to kill you, but it was a combination of things today.”
The loss dropped TCU’s record to 16-7 overall and 4-6 in conference. The Horned Frogs will look to rebound in Lawrence, Kan. Tuesday Feb. 6 against the Kansas Jayhawks who will be coming off a home loss of their own against Oklahoma State. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.
“It’s one loss,” Dixon said. “We played horribly, but we have to get ready for next one against Kansas.”