The Horned Frogs, now 2-3 in conference, were defeated by Mountain West Conference rival University of Nevada Las Vegas Running Rebels Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum 70-79.
The game was nationally televised on CBS College Sports, while 4,270 excited fans filled the stands.
The Horned Frogs kept it close through the first half with ball-control offense and hustle with transition defense. They started off the first half trailing by 3 points.
Timely three-pointers in the first half kept TCU within striking distance.
The lead changed twice and at the end of the first half, UNLV maintained an 8-point lead with 30-38.
Jerry Hughes, senior communications major and Frog football defensive end, was recognized at half time, and received the 2009 Lott Trophy Award, as the Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year.
The second half started with the Frogs down 42-50 and playing hard to overtake the Rebels.
TCU created fast-break opportunities with excellent defensive play bringing the Horned Frogs one point away from topping UNLV, 52-53, with 13 minutes left in the game.
Sophomore guard Ronnie Moss completed a three-point play with a lay up and free throw to tie the game at 60 with eight minutes remaining.
The momentum shifted back to UNLV despite continued hard play by TCU.
A slam-dunk by freshman TCU forward Nikola Cerina got the crowd on their feet with 2:53 left to close the gap by seven.
UNLV missed two free throws and allowed the Frogs within two points with one minute to go in the game.
Tension grew high as the game ended with UNLV defeating the Frogs 70-79. UNLV had a 60 percent shot success.
Head Coach Jim Christian said that once TCU was trailing by 4 with 1:23 left to go the pace had to pick up, and unfortunately less free throws were made successfully.
Senior guard Edvinas Ruzgas said, “When they’re playing 60 percent it is really hard to win a game.”
The team is going to prepare over the next two practices for their next game at Colorado State on Jan. 27 Ruzgas said.