It was a tale of two scenes.
The first was one of hype, electricity and excitement.
It was pregame. TCU was coming off of a ranked, upset win on the road. Texas had lost two of its last three. A record-setting 8,412 fans piled into Schollmaier Arena to see the two rivals clash.
The line for the record 3,594 students to get in went down the block. They shuffled in, filling well beyond the normal three sections they were allotted. Anything slightly athletic done by the Frogs in warmups stirred them. During announcement of the starting lineups, the building was shaking.
The second was one of solemnness, lifeless faces and silence.
The final buzzer sounded, and less than half of the historical crowd remained in their seats. The Frogs trudged off the court, heads down in defeat.
For the sixth-straight time, TCU had lost to Texas on the basketball court, and this one was in blowout fashion.
“I haven’t had many losses like this,” head coach Jamie Dixon said. “This is bad.”
A monstrous 33-13 run late in the first half by the Longhorns had given the Frogs a 20-point deficit by halftime, and they would never recover, falling 73-50 on Tuesday night in their worst loss of the season.
Texas forward Timmy Allen did the most damage to TCU, scoring 12 of his game-high 16 points in the first half alone to help the Longhorns pull away.
Guards Courtney Ramey, Marcus Carr and Andrew Jones joined Allen in double-figures for Texas, combining for 37 points.
For just the third time this season, TCU was outrebounded in the contest. Not only did the team lose the overall rebounded battle by 10 (41-31), but its nine offensive rebounds were far outweighed by 15 from Texas.
The Longhorns turned those offensive rebounds into 12 second-chance points, compared to just six for the Frogs.
A silver lining for TCU was superstar guard Mike Miles’ first double-digit scoring effort in four games. He finished with 14 and was joined by forward Emanuel Miller (13) as the only two Frogs in double digits.
Miller added a career-high five blocks.
Despite a somewhat return to form, Miles had little good to say to the media postgame.
“It’s embarrassing. There’s not too much to say,” Miles said. “Everything went wrong. I don’t think we did anything right. We got what we deserved.”
Before things got out of hand, the Frogs won the opening tip, and Miles imposed his will right away. The sophomore blew past the Longhorns for a layup on the opening possession before doing the same exact thing on the Frogs’ next time down the floor.
That started a sequence of the two teams trading blows. Texas scored two-straight buckets to take the lead. Then, TCU hit two-straight shots to regain the advantage.
Just over six minutes into the game, the contest saw its fourth tie, as a layup by TCU forward Eddie Lampkin knotted the score at 10.
Then, despite the thunderous voices of thousands of fans behind them, the Frogs went ice cold.
For four minutes exactly, TCU went without a score, missing four shots during that time. Meanwhile, Texas could not miss, popping off on an 11-0 run.
The Frogs would pull back within seven moments later, but they struggled to gain any real momentum. The Longhorns went on yet another run, this one 14-3, late in the half to go up by 18 with 3:17 remaining.
Things went from bad to horrendous for TCU quickly. With 2:24 left in the first half, an and-1 by Texas’ Jones made it 41-20 in favor of the Longhorns.
Even in the face of a 20-point deficit, the Frog fans still chanted “Defense!” as they tried to will an ounce of life into their team.
“We want to thank our fans. They were tremendous. I guess we set a record,” Dixon said. “They showed up, and we did not.”
At the half, TCU trailed 43-23. Despite 13 fouls committed by Texas, 7-for-14 shooting from the free throw line by the Frogs had prevented them using that to their advantage.
To add insult to injury, TCU went 0-for-9 from behind the arc and committed eight turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
A slight push by the Frogs early in the second half got the crowd rejuvenated. Just over three minutes in, TCU was within 17, but Texas answered immediately with a three-pointer from Jones to return the arena to a silence.
That was the way it went for the rest of the game. Each time the Frogs found success on offense, they squandered the momentum by giving up a score defensively.
Only twice in the entire second half did TCU score two or more field goals unanswered by Texas, allowing the Longhorns to push their lead as high as 24 at one point (11:19 remaining).
The closest the Frogs would pull was 15 with just over five minutes remaining, but the Longhorns responded to that with an 8-0 run to push it right back to 23.
TCU finished the game an abysmal 2-for-16 from deep, committing 13 turnovers along the way. After being the hero on Saturday against Iowa State, guard Damion Baugh finished with as many turnovers (5) as points.
While the game was surely one to forget for the Frogs, Miller emphasized postgame their need to learn from the disappointment going forward.
“I think if we just completely forget about this game, then we’re not going to learn from it,” Miller said. “I think there’s so many things we can learn from this game.”
The going only gets tougher for TCU going forward, as they host No. 19 LSU on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. on ESPN2.