Clumsy ball handling and turnovers proved to be costly Saturday night at the Horned Frogs (10-7, 2-3 Conference) fell to the UNLV Rebels (16-4, 3-2 Conference) to continue their decline in the Mountain West Conference.A first half ball handling nightmare befell the Frogs as UNLV scored 20 points off of TCU turnovers.
“When you give them that many points it gives them too much of a head start,” head coach Neil Dougherty said, “It really hurt us.”
Junior forward Alvardo Parker managed to reach a career milestone against the Rebels tallying 20 points and 13 rebounds. He said the defensive press from UNLV was one of the thorns in the Horned Frogs’ side.
“Some of it was the pressure they put on us, we needed to settle down and handle the ball better,” Parker said.
When the teams returned to the tunnel after the first half of play, the Frogs were trailing by 11 points, but a more aware TCU squad took to the hardwood in the second half.
“We made more catches on passes, and made the passes and that helped back off their pressure,” senior point guard Neil P. Dougherty said.
Even after outscoring the Rebels in the second half, the Frogs came out on the losing end of the contest 75-66. The loss marked the third consecutive defeat for TCU, but the players are not too bothered by it, Neil P. Dougherty said.
“We are catching everyone’s hot streak with who is shooting the ball right now,” coach Dougherty said.
In addition to outshooting the Frogs, the Rebels used their superior size and athleticism to rack up 24 defensive rebounds and 8 blocks while underneath the rim.
“They have a lot of size to go with their athleticism, and they are very aggressive,” Neil P. Dougherty said.
The loss pushed the Frogs further down in the Mountain West Conference standings, but coach Dougherty said that there is still hope from his young team.
“As twisted as it sounds, this is encouraging in the big picture, but (these losses are) disappointing in the short term.