Men’s basketball loses to OU on Senior Day, finishes winless in conference play

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    In their regular season finale, the TCU men’s basketball team fell to the No. 23 Oklahoma Sooners 97-67 on Senior Day, their 18th consecutive loss.

    “Oklahoma is a good basketball team,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said.

    Senior guard Jarvis Ray tied for a career-high 18 points in the loss.

    “He’s been playing well the last four games,” Johnson said. “He misses a lot of bunnies but it’s because he tries so hard.”

    The Sooners (23-8, 12-6 Big 12) had four players score in double-digits and hit 14 three-pointers during the contest.

    While Oklahoma seemingly couldn’t miss from behind the arc, TCU’s performance was more of the same. The Frogs (9-21, 0-18 Big 12) shot 39.1 percent from the field and were outrebounded 44-30.

    The Sooners took a 14-10 lead early on after an offensive rebound led to a three-pointer from OU guard Buddy Hield. The Bahamas native scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the win.

    “I feel good,” Hield said. “Just a great team effort. We just need to do our best to keep on playing.”

    Freshman center Karviar Shepherd hit a three of his own soon after to put the game at 16-13 OU. Shepherd averaged 8.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game for the Frogs this season.

    Oklahoma hit a pair of three-pointers midway through the first half to take a 26-15 lead. The Sooners went 6-of-12 from behind the arc in the half.

    Junior guard Kyan Anderson added 17 points and four assists in the game.

    Anderson and freshman forward Brandon Parrish hit consecutive three-pointers to cut OU’s lead to seven but the team couldn’t bring the game closer than that.

    Isaiah Cousins hit his second three-pointer of the night with a little over a minute remaining to give the Sooners a 10-point edge. The sophomore guard finished with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

    “I think a lot of guys have made consistent progress throughout the season,” Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger said. “Isaiah is one of them.”

    Kruger is widely regarded by many to be a candidate for Big 12 Coach of the Year honors.

    “Coach [Kruger] doesn’t need my praise,” Johnson said.

    Hield later hit a buzzer-beater three to make it a 53-38 game at halftime. The Frogs allowed Oklahoma to make 56.7 percent of their shots in the first half.

    It wouldn’t take long for the Sooners to hit their seventh three-pointer of the afternoon. TCU left Hield wide open early in the second half and he took advantage, giving OU an 18-point lead.

    Oklahoma extended their lead to 20 after forward Cameron Clark hit a jumper. Clark then got an easy dunk off a fastbreak to make it 60-38 OU.

    “We got a lot of guys who can shoot it,” Clark said. “It just spreads the floor and helps me get more open shots.”

    Up by 16 with 10:23 remaining, Cousins hit his fourth three of the night to make it 75-56 OU. The Sooners then hit their 11th shot from behind the arc on the ensuing possession.

    Red-hot Oklahoma later hit No. 12 and No. 13 with about seven minutes remaining to give TCU a 28-point deficit.

    The Frogs trailed by 35 with 4:27 remaining after Hield hit OU’s 14th from behind the arc. OU then pulled its starters as the game was completely out of reach.

    The Sooners hit more three-pointers (14) in the game than TCU hit free throws (13).

    Ray tied his career-high on a jumper with about two and a half minutes left in the game. A native of New Orleans, Ray was one of only four Frogs to play in every game this season and started each game.

    Senior guard Thomas Montigel was honored alongside Ray before tip-off and both started the game. He started only two games in his TCU career but played in 25 total.

    Montigel was also named to the 2014 Academic All-Big 12 First Team earlier this year.

    “It’s hard for me because so much of this business is based on wins and losses,” Johnson said. “It’s about every day, the kids that grinded.”

    When the clock ran out in Fort Worth, TCU had lost its 18th consecutive game as the Sooners won 97-67.

    “We can’t relax,” Hield said. “We’re still hungry. We’ve still got something to prove.”

    Oklahoma now leads the all-time series over TCU 14-2. The Frogs second win ever against the Sooners came in last year’s regular season finale.

    With the loss, TCU finishes the regular season as the only Division 1 team to go winless in conference play. Southern Utah (2-26, 1-18 Big Sky) was TCU’s only competition in the category until they found a way to win Thursday night over North Dakota (15-15, 12-8 Big Sky).

    “There’s a reason why we’re not very good,” Johnson said. “We’re not very talented and we’re not very deep. We’re banged up.”

    The last team to lose every conference game in a season was Grambling State in 2013. The Tigers finished with a dismal 0-28 record overall last season.

    The Frogs are 2-34 in Big 12 play during the Trent Johnson era.

    The regular season’s end also means construction on Daniel-Meyer Coliseum will begin very shortly. The stadium is expected to have $65 million worth of renovations completed by the start of the 2015-16 season.

    “I’m not superstitious,” Johnson said. “I’m excited about it because it speaks volumes about the commitment to basketball.”

    The Frogs will next head to the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Miss., for the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. They’ll face 7th-seeded Baylor (20-10, 8-9 Big 12) on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. CT.