TCU basketball saw their season end Wednesday night in the first round of the Big 12 tournament against Kansas State.
There is no more pointing to the number of practices missed, no more blaming the team’s lack of depth and no more saying that the Big 12 is just a tough conference this year.
After taking a 23-19 lead late in the first half, the Frogs went on to see their season come to an end via a 71-50 loss, outhustled and outdone in every facet by a team that won just four games in conference play.
“Yeah, we looked tired to be honest,” head coach Jamie Dixon said. “I think we fought pretty hard in the first half, got the lead and then it just got away from us.”
Though Kansas State’s 48% shooting as a team does not necessarily leap off of the stat sheet, the TCU defense made Wildcat guards Nijel Pack and Mike McGuirl look like NBA All-Stars. The duo combined for 40 points on a combined 13-for-22 shooting.
If the two were professional players, then Pack played the role of Stephen Curry, as the true freshman was a lights-out 5-for-6 from three-point range.
Two of those threes came back-to-back at the end of the first half, as the guard capped off a 10-0 run for Kansas State that put TCU down 29-23 just moments after they had taken the lead.
“It’s disappointing, because of how well we played for that stretch,” Dixon said. “Then, we didn’t convert, didn’t finish and they got those two threes.”
Any confidence that the Frogs gained in the waning moments of the first half disappeared in the opening moments of the second.
“I thought we were going to come out with more energy in the second half,” guard R.J. Nembhard said. “But we couldn’t get it together, and they kept it going.”
Instantly, Kansas State scored two buckets straight to extend their game run to 15-0 and take an 11-point lead.
TCU hung around for a while, pulling within six at one point, but it was at the midway point of the second half that the wheels really fell off.
Over a ten-minute span, Kansas State went on a 25-4 run and ended the Horned Frogs season in an embarrassing loss.
At one point, TCU trailed by as much as 26.
The Frogs committed 17 turnovers during the game while shooting just 37% from the field and a 21% from behind-the-arc.
Nembhard was the lone TCU player in double figures with 11 points.
The loss drops TCU to 12-14 on the season, giving Dixon his first-ever losing season as a head coach.
“[We’ve] got to go back to the drawing board,” Nembhard said.