Courtesy: GoFrogs.com

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The TCU Men’s Basketball team, with just seven active players, fell short against the Vanderbilt Commodores Saturday, 81-78.

The game was part of the annual Big 12/SEC challenge, in which the Horned Frogs have participated in for the last three years. They defeated Tennessee in 2015 and lost to Auburn last season.

The loss was the team’s sixth of the season, dropping their record to 15-6. All six losses have come by less than five points.

The team again had a slow start, falling behind 13-6 with 15 minutes left in the first half. TCU head coach Jamie Dixon attributed the slow starts plus the team’s poor defensive effort as a reason why they continue to fall short.

”We don’t follow through on assignments, we just don’t do it well enough to be the team I think we can be,” Dixon said. “This is similar to every game we’ve lost. But our defensive numbers are putting us in that position plus our slow starts.”

TCU shot an above average 55.6 percent from the field, higher than Vanderbilts 52.5. However, Vanderbilt made 11 of their 25 three-point shots, compared to TCU’s eight on 23 shots.

The team also outrebounded Vanderbilt by 15 and had five more assists.

“We shot 56 percent and outrebounded by 15,” TCU Head Coach Jamie Dixon said. “’It’s hard to lose a game when you do those two things, but we found a way.”

Four of the team’s starters played over 30 minutes after the roster was reduced to just seven active players due to senior Ahmed Hamdy being out with an illness.

TCU Guard Desmond Bane drives in for a layup. Photo courtesy: GoFrogs.com

The Horned Frogs had five players in double figures, with Kenrich Williams leading the way with 17 points.

Defensively, the team was outplayed by Vanderbilt guard Riley LaChance and forward Jeff Roberson. The two combined for 44 points on 17-26 shooting, a 65 percent rate. LaChance’s three-pointer with 1:17 left in the game was the deciding basket.

Only one other Vanderbilt player scored in double figures and no one else had more than six points.

The Horned Frogs will look to rebound when they travel to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State on Tuesday night. The Cowboys share the same 3-5 conference record as TCU.