The men’s basketball team extended its poor shooting streak, hitting only 17 of its 54 shots against the Air Force Falcons, which also helped extend its losing streak to three games.
In the first half TCU shot 26 percent from the field, including 4-for-18 clip from 3-point land. The Falcons shot a solid 52 percent from the field in the first and were five out of 11 from behind the arc.
“We tried to get to the ball into the paint,” head coach Neil Dougherty said. “They were very good at collapsing and we just could not get our outside shots to fall.”
After dropping their second straight home game, the Horned Frogs have now lost three straight. With this latest loss, TCU is 11-9 overall and below .500 in the Mountain West Conference at 3-4 for the first time since its opening loss against San Diego State University.
Out of TCU’s 54 shots, 29 of them came from three-point range of which the Frogs made seven – four in the first-half and three in the second-half.
“They were really fast,” junior forward John Ortiz said. “They got after it, closed out on our shooters and did not give us many open looks.”
Poor shooting performances have plagued the Frogs in each of its last three loses. TCU has hit only 35 percent of its shots during its three-game losing streak.
TCU’s leading scorer, junior forward Kevin Langford, was held to three points on two field goal attempts in the first.
“We needed to have more patience and discipline,” Langford said. “We were able to get it inside better in the second half and our shots were starting to fall. Unfortunately we just ran out of chances to win the game.”
Langford did finish the game with 11 points and extended his streak of double-digit scoring to 18 games.
After the game’s first 20 minutes, TCU was down by eight points, 28-20.
The Horned Frogs did not have any problems getting off shots; they just had trouble getting off good ones. Air Force was playing an effective 2-3 zone. They were collapsing down when the ball went into the paint and quickly got back out to put a hand up in the jump shooters’ face, limiting the Frogs to 31.5 percent shooting in the game.
“They (Air Force) are a very consistent team,” Dougherty said. “They take their time on offense, play good defense and limited the number of possessions and time that we had the ball.”
Dougherty said the team’s poor shooting made playing defense much harder because the opponent has more possessions when jump shots are not falling.
TCU’s second leading scorer, junior guard Henry Salter, did not play because of an ankle injury from last Wednesday’s game against UNLV. Dougherty said he was not sure when Salter would be back in the lineup and that he is listed as day-to-day.
Starting in place of Salter was sophomore guard Keion Mitchem.
Mitchem hit a couple of threes and finished with ten points.
The Horned Frogs’ next game will be against BYU in Provo, Utah, on Wednesday.