Despite finding a way to lead at halftime, the TCU men’s basketball team lost to the No. 15 Texas Longhorns 59-54 on Tuesday night.
“It’s real painful,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said. “Real painful.”
Junior forward Amric Fields scored a team-high 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the loss.
The Frogs (9-12, 0-9 Big 12), who only had seven scholarship players active for the contest, were outrebounded 56-25 and shot 32.7 percent from the field.
“It is what it is,” Fields said. “We just gotta get it done.”
With the loss, the team has now lost nine straight.
“We’re not satisfied with just keeping it close,” Fields said.
As has been the case all season though, free throws kept TCU in it for much of the night. The team made 13 of their 18 attempts and have the conference’s third-best average from the free throw line this season.
With the win, the Longhorns improve to 18-4 overall and 7-2 in conference play this season. They beat the No. 8-ranked Kansas Jayhawks in Austin, Texas, on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s more us than the other team,” Fields said. “If we show up, we can play with anybody.”
Freshman center Karviar Shepherd started the game after missing last Saturday’s 60-54 loss to Texas Tech (11-11, 3-6 Big 12) with an injured hand. Shepherd battled foul trouble for most of the game, finishing with only six points and two rebounds.
The big man from Dallas fouled out of the game with 3:28 remaining in the contest.
The Longhorns started the game with a 7-0 run, capped by a Cameron Ridley dunk. Ridley was later issued a “Flagrant 1” foul for getting a little too physical on the defensive side of the ball.
TCU wouldn’t reach double-digits on the scoreboard until the 9:34 mark of the first half, after freshman forward Hudson Price hit the team’s first three-pointer of the night. Price scored five points in total for the Frogs.
The home team eventually cut the Longhorn lead to one after a three-pointer from junior guard Kyan Anderson. Texas would immediately respond, however, hitting a fast-break layup in transition seven seconds later to put the game at 18-14 Texas.
Anderson finished the night with 12 points and seven assists.
Sophomore guard Christian Gore would hit the Frogs’ third-three pointer of the night, once again cutting Texas’ lead to one.
TCU missed their first five attempts from behind the arc, but finished the game hitting 7-of-20.
With 1:07 left in the half, Fields went up for a dunk and was fouled hard by Ridley. He hit one of the ensuing free throws to tie the game at 20 points apiece.
Anderson then hit a running layup with 10 seconds remaining. Despite being much smaller than Texas, the Frogs led 22-20 going into the second half.
TCU was 15-3 coming into the game when leading at halftime during the Trent Johnson era.
Early in the second half, the Frogs led by four before Texas’ Jonathan Holmes hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to one. The San Antonio native scored 20 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in the win.
The Longhorns would later grab back the lead after an and-one layup by Holmes, which put the game at 35-32 Texas.
“Teams are gonna be looking to beat us every night,” Holmes said. “We gotta understand that we can’t come out flat.”
With 9 minutes left in the game, Anderson hit his second three of the night, bringing the deficit back down to one. Anderson has made nearly 38 percent of his shots from behind the arc this season.
After Anderson’s three, Texas mustered up a 6-0 run. Once again, the Frogs had an answer, scoring six straight points of their own.
Longhorns guard Demarcus Holland drilled a three-pointer on the ensuing possession to put the game at 47-43 Texas with 5:27 left in the contest.
Down by three points with about three and a half minutes remaining, freshman guard Brandon Parrish hit an impressive and-one layup, but missed the ensuing free throw.
The Arlington native made up for it on the ensuing possession, hitting a big three-pointer to tie the game at 52-52. Parrish scored 10 points in total on the night, which all came in the second half.
“I never feel like it’s enough unless we win,” Parrish said
The Longhorns, once again, had an answer as Holmes responded with a three-pointer of his own. This gave Texas a three-point lead with less than three minutes to go.
Down by three with seven seconds left, the Frogs were forced to foul. Ridley hit both of the ensuing free throws and Texas won 59-54.
The Longhorns have now won seven straight games and are one game behind the conference-leading Jayhawks.
“There’s nothing to brag about yet,” Holmes said.