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No. 10 Texas Tech 83, TCU 71: Frogs can’t overcome Tech’s fast start

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An 18-0 run by Tech in the early part of the first half sealed TCU’s fate.

Melissa Triebwasser

Fort Worth, TX - TCU’s defense let them down in the first half, and the Frogs could never recover, as they fall to 4-6 in the Big 12 after an 83-71 loss to No. 10 Texas Tech.

“We were horrible, they were good,” Jamie Dixon said after the loss. “I didn’t see that coming.”

TCU didn’t do much well in the loss, going down by as many as 31 points in the first half, as the Frogs came out with “low energy” as Desmond Bane noted afterward.

Vladimir Brodziansky led the way for the Horned Frogs with 18 points, but the Frogs didn’t have enough offense to overcome a huge run by the Red Raiders early in the first half.

The Frogs dug themselves into an early hole with poor defense, and Tech couldn’t miss from anywhere on the floor, which led to a huge Tech lead early. After a three-point play from Desmond Bane tied the game at nine, Texas Tech went on an 18-0 run before JD Miller hit a corner three to inject a little life back in the building.

Tech’s run, and most of their first half, came without their leading scorer Kennan Evans even attempting a shot. His first shot came with 6:30 remaining the first half, and his first (and only) basket of the half came with about 4:30 left.

Another TCU basket, this time from Kenrich Williams, would cut TCU’s deficit to 13, but Tech responded with a three to push their lead back out to 30-14. The Frogs and Raiders would trade baskets for the next few minutes, but once again TCU’s perimeter defense would fail them.

Tech shot 54.8% in the first half, and 8-13 from three point range, to take a 48-24 lead into halftime. Desmond Bane led TCU with 10 points, but beyond him, the Frogs simply couldn’t muster much offense against Tech’s swarming D.

Things didn’t get better to open the second half, as the Frogs would turn the ball over, leading to a Texas Tech ally oop, and a 52-24 Raider lead. TCU put together a nice little 9-3 run after the dunk, over the course of the next few minutes, but still found themselves down 55-33 as Tech called a timeout with 15:20 left in the game.

Six total points would be scored over the next ~4 minutes of play, as both offenses came screeching to a halt. At the under-12 timeout, with 11:33 left in the game, Tech led 58-36.

The Frogs would battle back a bit in the next few minutes, thanks to some quality defense and good transition offense. Free throws from Shawn Olden, and a layup from Alex Robinson cut Tech’s lead to 61-45 with just over eight minutes remaining in the game. A made free throw from Vlad, followed by a Vlad layup cut the deficit to 13, and then, the stadium got loud.

Alex Robinson wold then flash some incredible defense, and draw a technical foul on Tech, leading to two free throws. Vlad would make both, and follow them up with two more, to cut Tech’s lead to 11. A Tech dunk would push their lead briefly to 13, before Robinson would go 1-2 from the free throw line, making it a 65-53 game with exactly five minutes remaining.

Tech would reestablish control in the waning minutes, however, as the mountain was too much for TCU to climb. The Frogs are now 4-6 in conference play.

The Frogs head to Kansas to play the Jayhawks on Tuesday, before coming back to face Texas next Saturday.

TCU now sits at 16-7 on the season, and probably need five more wins to really secure a tournament spot. Check out the full postgame comments below.