TCU missed its first 10 shots of the game and shot 33 percent from the field for the game, but that’s not what bothered head coach Trent Johnson about the performance against Houston.
“We’re going to have our deficiencies and inabilities going throughout the year,” Johnson said. “It’s us, as coaches, it’s our responsibility to get [the players] open shots. It’s their responsibility to make them. But what I can’t deal with is how we started this game because obviously there were guys playing for themselves.”
The Frogs (6-3) fell behind 10-0 and failed to make a field goal until guard Nate Butler Lind hit a jumper with 12 minutes left in the first half. They were unable to tie the ballgame or take the lead and fell 54-48.
For the third game in a row, guard Kyan Anderson led the Frogs in scoring with 20 points.
Forward Adrick McKinney also had 10 points and a career-high 20 rebounds. Houston forward TaShawn Thomas posted a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
“The thing I struggle with is one dribble too much,” Johnson said. “Guys searching for his own individual play and that leads to a lot of turnovers.”
Johnson said the only positive he took from the game was the improvement of McKinney.
“I felt like Adrick kept us in the game because he played hard and he ran down balls,” Johnson said. “He competed.”
The Frogs’ defense held Houston (6-2), the nation’s No. 18 scoring offense, well under its season average of 80 points per game. TCU also held Houston to 34 percent shooting. But the Frogs couldn’t cut into the lead built up by the Cougars.
Houston extended its 27-19 halftime lead to 12 points on back-to-back buckets with 13:29 left in the game. TCU guard Kyan Anderson hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to nine, but the Cougars kept a double digit lead for most the half. The closest the Frogs got in the second half was on the final bucket by Anderson.
“[The Cougars] had more resiliency,” Johnson said. “They had more toughness and they executed their stuff at crucial times.”
For the second straight game, the Frogs were outrebounded at home, this time 43-39. The Cougars have outrebounded every opponent they have beaten except for San Jose State.
Johnson said he was “really disturbed” with the way the game started.
“Our ability to really come out and be precise and execute like we’ve done when we’ve been good [for example] at UAB and being mentally tough and consistent will help us stay in games,” Johnson said.
The Frogs will travel to Tulsa for a Dec. 8 matchup. Tip-off is set for noon.