After fighting their way to a 14-point halftime lead, TCU faltered down the stretch, allowing the Texas Tech Red Raiders to complete their largest comeback of the season in an 83-79 decision tonight in Lubbock.
Four Frogs finished in double-figures in the narrow defeat, led by Chauncey Collins' 29 points. Brandon Parrish wasn't far behind with 19, finishing the day 4/6 from behind the arc. Malique Trent added another 15 points off the bench while JD Miller finished with 10, his second straight double-digit performance. Miller also led the team in rebounding with six.
As a unit, TCU put together their second consecutive decent shooting night, finishing 28/59 from the field, a respectable 47.5%. The Frogs hit nine of their 20 three point shot attempts and managed to turn the ball over just seven times. The team was out-rebounded 33-26.
Across the court, Texas Tech was fueled by two impressive performances. Aaron Ross came off the bench to score a team-high 25 points, while Zach Smith added 23 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Not to be outdone, Toddrick Gotcher dished in 16 points on 4/9 shooting from behind the arc.
Collectively, the Red Raiders shot an even 50.0% from the field, hitting 26 of their 52 shot attempts, with 14 coming via an assist. Texas Tech played a surprisingly clean game, committing just five turnovers, all in the first half.
After a back-and-forth first 10:00, Bknocked down a deep three-pointer that gave TCU a 28-23 lead. Parrish's shot was his fourth consecutive made long ball to open the game, helping to propel the Frogs to a 6/7 mark from deep. In fact, Parrish's first miss didn't come until about five minutes renaming in the opening frame.
Texas Tech quickly regained momentum with back-to-back dunks that brought the house down. The energy gained from the two quick buckets sparked the Texas Tech defense. The Red Raiders held the Frogs to just one field goal during a four minute span to cut the TCU lead to four.
However, the Frogs would bounce right back with a pair of threes to build a 45-31 lead at the break. It marked the team's largest lead in a Big 12 game this season as well as the team's largest halftime lead since a 35-15 advantage over Kansas State on February 18, 2015.
Future Hall of Fame coach Tubby Smith put a charge into his players at the half. Texas Tech came storming out of the gate in the second half, using an 18-2 run to regain the lead at 53-49 lead with about 13:00 to go. The teams would trade buckets for the middle portion of the half before Texas Tech seized a 66-60 lead with 8:30 to go. The TCU defense faltered late, allowing Texas Tech to score on 10 straight possessions with under 2:00 left.
Overall, the game saw 16 lead changes and nine ties. When the dust finally settled, it was an 83-79 win for Tubby Smith and the Red Raiders, all but guaranteeing Texas Tech an at-large bid to the Big Dance. On the opposite side of the NCAA Tournament spectrum, the Frogs fell to 11-17 overall and 2-13 in Big 12 play.
TCU returns to action on Saturday as the team hosts #19 Baylor at 7:00 PM in Fort Worth.