You knew things were bad for TCU Basketball on Tuesday night when the deepest point of Texas Tech’s bench was on the floor and getting standing ovations from the crowd.
With five minutes to go in the game, center Vladislav Goldin checked in for the Red Raiders, spurring a deafening roar from the packed-out student section at United Supermarkets Arena. Moments later, the seven-footer, who averages just 4.7 minutes per game, hit a layup, sending the arena into a pandemonium.
The moment was the final nail in the coffin for TCU in yet another embarrassing defeat for the Frogs, who have now lost four of their last five games.
Behind just 39% shooting as a team and 15 turnovers committed, TCU fell to No. 17 Texas Tech 69-49 on Tuesday in a game they needed to win to catch the Red Raiders in the Big 12 standings and give themselves a chance at a postseason berth.
Entering the matchup, Texas Tech ranked just one spot ahead of TCU in the conference, giving the Frogs a prime opportunity to get a ranked win on the road and keep themselves in the NIT conversation.
“I’ve got to get them more motivation, I guess, because that should’ve been enough,” head coach Jamie Dixon said. “They were a game ahead of us in the loss column.”
The Red Raiders were not going to let that happen, though, as they shot a resounding 52% from the floor in an offensive explosion, despite the fact that star player Mac McClung finished with just four points.
Arlington native Kyler Edwards led the way for Texas Tech with a game-high 20 points on 7-for-8 shooting, single-handedly hitting four of the Red Raider’s six threes on the night.
Known for their defense that carried them to a national championship in 2019, Texas Tech suffocated TCU’s offense all night long. Guard R.J. Nembhard was the lone Frog to finish in double figures (10 points), as they shot a miserable 24% from behind-the arc.
True freshman Mike Miles finished with just two points in the contest, shooting 1-for-8 from the floor. Midway through the second half, the guard tweaked his ankle, preventing him from playing much for the rest of the night.
Despite the fact that the Frogs were harassed by the loudest in-person crowd they’ve seen all season, Dixon said the noise was far from TCU’s biggest problem in the game.
“It shouldn’t have [had an impact],” Dixon said of the crowd. “They’re college basketball players. We’ve played in front of a lot more people than that.”
The loud crowd and ranked opponent had not seemed to affect TCU early, as center Kevin Samuel quieted the Red Raider students’ jeers with a strong layup plus a foul to put the Frogs up 4-2 right away.
TCU would even lead 10-9 midway through the first half, but Texas Tech then popped off on a 13-3 run highlighted by offensive rebounds and made three-pointers.
By halftime, the Frogs had been out-rebounded, out-shot, and out-hustled, putting them down 36-22 and giving them a long trudge to the locker room.
Samuel would once-again, provide a spark in the second half, scoring five early point to help cut the Red Raider lead down to a reachable 13.
Texas Tech would then hit TCU on the mouth again, though, holding the Frogs without a field goal for over seven minutes and opening up a 54-31 lead that fully closed the door on any chance of a TCU victory.
TCU was out-rebounded 33-28 and out-assisted 22-7 in the game, as they failed to perform in the two areas Dixon has continued to emphasize the most in the last month.
In the postgame press conference, Dixon continued to repeat a five-word phrase: “We’ve got to be better.”
If TCU is going to get any better this season, it’s going to have to happen fast, as they now head up to Morgantown for a matchup with No. 6 West Virginia in two days. Tip-off with the Mountaineers is scheduled for 6 p.m.