Horned Frogs come up just short against Texas Tech

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Another back-and-forth contest, another almost-win for the Horned Frogs men’s basketball team, as TCU faltered down the stretch to lose against theTexas Tech Red Raiders 76-69.

The loss dropped the Frogs to 9-9 overall and 1-5 in Big 12 play.

After TCU took a 16-12 lead early in the first half,  Tech hit the Frogs with a barrage of 3-pointers to take a seven-point lead into halftime, 42-35.

The Frogs overcame a deficit as big as 11 points with scoring from sophomores Chauncey Collins and Vladimir Brodziansky.

Collins paced the Frogs with 19 points on 7-15 shooting, and Brodziansky erupted in the second half, scoring 14 second-half points for a total of 18 for the game.

Brodziansky’s second-half scoring binge, which sparked a 9-0 run, allowed TCU to reclaim the lead, 68-67, for the first time since the beginning of the first half after Vlad hit five consecutive free throws in 43 seconds, with the last three coming after he was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with three minutes left in the game.

“When he’s open, we try to get it to him because we know we can count on him to make buckets and make free throws,” Collins said of Brodziansky.

The Red Raiders regained the lead after junior forward Aaron Ross’s 3-pointer that made the score 70-68.

Collins then had a deep three-ball rim out, which led to Ross hitting a couple more free throws that put the game out of reach for TCU.

The two things that prevented the Horned Frogs from earning a victory were free-throw shooting, as TCU shot 17-28 for 60.7 percent from the line, and TCU’s three-point defense, which allowed Texas Tech to shoot 9-15 from beyond the arc.

“We all know that’s not good enough for this league,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said. “We haven’t been very good defensively.”

TCU, as has been the story all season, was missing key players that were set to make an impact this year, including Alex Robinson (transfer), Kenrich Williams (injury), and Malique Trent (rule violation).

“When they get back, sky’s the limit,” Collins said.

Johnson he has “no idea” when the team’s leading scorer Malique Trent will return from serving a suspension spawning from a team rules violation. Williams sat out this season after undergoing microfracture knee surgery.

TCU returns to the Schollmaier Arena hardwood at 3 p.m on Saturday against the Iowa State Cyclones.