Strong first-half play followed by a faltering second half was an all-too-familiar situation for the Horned Frogs as they fell 71-60 to No. 17 Iowa State Saturday in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The loss to Iowa State (21-5, 9-5 Big 12) was the 14th straight loss for the Frogs (9-17, 0-14).
“Losing’s not easy,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said. “You’ve been around these guys a year and a half. They care.”
Despite the loss, junior guard Kyan Anderson said the team cannot dwell on the frustration.
“At this point in time, we have to stay positive,” Anderson said.
Anderson led the Frogs with 18 points in the game. The 5-foot-11 Fort Worth native had been scoring beyond 20 points in his past four games. He averages 16.9 points per game this season.
Freshman center Karviar Shepherd led the game in rebounds, with five offensive rebounds and 10 defensive rebounds for a total of 15.
The Frogs, who had been consistently struggling in rebounding, outrebounded the Cyclones 19-18 during the first half. Come second half, the Frogs were outrebounded 38-35.
TCU put forth a strong showing during the first half, trailing a mere two points with 32-30 at halftime.
Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg said he was disappointed at the Cyclones’ slow start during the first half.
“We gave [TCU] confidence early in that game to hang around and have a chance,” Hoiberg said. “I tip my hat to those guys for playing hard.”
The Frogs took first possession of the ball, with freshman guard Hudson Price scoring the first three-pointer of the afternoon.
TCU held on to the lead for the next eleven minutes. Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim closed the deficit 17-15 with a layup, but Shepherd answered with a dunk to bring the score to 19-15.
Another layup by Ejim tied the score 21-21 with 5:03 left in the first period. By the end of the half, the Cyclones had taken the lead with a close 32-30.
At the second half, freshman forward Brandon Parrish tied the Frogs 32-32. They continued to keep the game close until the final five minutes. The Frogs plateaued at 57 points, while the Cyclones raised their score to 64.
By 2:34, the Cyclones had raised the margin to 11 points, leading 58-69. Senior guard Jarvis Ray cut the deficit to 9 points with a layup until Ejim responded with a dunk to solidify the win at 71-60.
Notably absent from the game was junior forward Amric Fields, who is still recovering from a knee injury. While Fields played Kansas State on Wednesday, Johnson said Fields looked as if he was “playing on one leg.”
Johnson said he is not certain if Fields will return to play against Oklahoma State on Monday.
The Frogs are scheduled to host the Cowboys on Monday at 6 p.m.