Senior forward Kevin Langford gave himself five more minutes to cement his legacy at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Unfortunately, the referees only gave him four minutes and 57 seconds.
TCU fell to San Diego State University 79-77 Saturday night in overtime in a game that featured a furious Horned Frog comeback and a strange ending that was decided by the officials.
After Langford made the first of his two free throw attempts with five seconds to play, he intentionally missed the second, causing a scramble for the ball which the officials ruled went out of bounds off of TCU Junior forward Zvonko Buljan. The clock read 2.7 seconds remaining, but after a lengthy discussion the referees said that time had run out, and the game was in fact over.
The ending put a slight damper a gutsy performance by Langford, who along with fellow senior forward John Ortiz, was making his final appearance at home. Langford suffered through foul trouble the entire first half and went in to the break having scored only two points in eight minutes. He picked up his fourth foul less than a minute in to the second half and once again took to the bench.
In his absence, the Horned Frogs watched the Aztecs lead balloon to 13 before reaching a game high of 16. Langford and freshman guard Ronnie Moss took over in the final 10 minutes of the game, on their way to point totals of 18 and 22, respectively. With the scoring efforts of Moss and Langford, the offense improved its field goal percentage from 31 percent in the first half to 52 percent in the second. Langford also showed off his penchant for drawing fouls inside, as two Aztec starters fouled out before the end of regulation.
The Horned Frogs tied the game with 24 seconds left in regulation after two free throws from Langford. Then, junior guard Jason Ebie made a clutch block of a SDSU layup that Langford scooped up with about three seconds remaining. He found an open Keion Mitchem near half court, who heaved up a prayer with 1.3 seconds to play.
The shot clanged off the inside of the rim then back out, as an audible exhale emanated from the crowd.
In the extra period, the Aztecs failed to connect on a shot, but went 10 of 12 from the charity stripe. TCU missed its two three point attempts in overtime and shot 36 percent from beyond the arc in the game.
TCU head coach Jim Christian downplayed the role of the officials following the game, as did Langford. Langford noted his own misses from the free throw line as a reason for the loss.
Langford acknowledged that the ending was a bit unsatisfying, but said he was proud of the way he and his teammates played.
TCU wraps up its regular-season slate next Saturday in Salt Lake City against the Mountain West-leading University of Utah Utes.