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West Virginia 104, TCU 96: Frogs drop game they couldn’t afford to lose

A short bench, bad possessions, and foul trouble dominated the game.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was...something.

TCU lost to West Virginia in triple overtime on Tuesday night, 104-96. TCU falls to 10-18 on the season, and 6-9 in Big 12 play.

JD Miller led TCU with 24 points in an incredibly gutsy performance, while Desmond Bane and Kouat Noi both added 17 points. Noi recorded his second straight double double, adding 10 points to the stat sheet as well.

Alex Robinson added 16 points and five assists, while RJ Nembhard scored 15 points and pulled down five rebounds.

Wet Virginia was paced by their incredible freshman Derek Culver, who absolutely dominated down low on Tuesday. Culver finished with a 22-point, 21-rebound double-double, as he took advantage of Kevin Samuel’s foul trouble to dominate a small TCU front court.

Jordan McCabe also recorded a double-double for West Virginia, scoring 25 points and handing out 11 assists.

This was a game TCU could ill-afford to lose, and yet they came out flat for the majority of the contest. Foul trouble and turnovers littered the game, as TCU saw Kevin Samuel and Kouat Noi both foul out, while Alex Robinson, JD Miller, and Kendric Davis all finished with four.

Despite struggling to find any rhythm on either end of the floor, TCU somehow managed to tie the game late in regulation with two huge threes from Miller and Desmond Bane. Tied at 68, TCU had the ball with a chance to win in regulation.

Bane lost the ball and it skittered away towards West Virginia’s three point line, where Jordan McCabe front-rimmed a potential game-winning three.

TCU had another chance to win in overtime, but a wild shot from Alex Robinson in the final seconds didn’t come close to falling. The transition led to a decent three pointer look for McCabe, who once again missed.

With the game tied at 88, TCU once again had a chance to win at the end of double OT. After Bane forced a jump ball with 4.9 seconds left, Kendric Davis inbounded the ball to JD Miller near midcourt. Miller, seemingly looking up to pass, didn’t realize where he was on the court and he stepped out of bounds.

The turnover almost cost TCU the game right there, as Derek Culver missed an absolute bunny that would have given WVU the win in double overtime.

By the third overtime TCU was simply out of gas. Having squandered multiple attempts to win earlier, they looked exhausted, and West Virginia outscored the Frogs 16-8 in the final frame.

TCU probably needs to win at least two of their last three games to give themselves a chance at a tournament bid, and even then it might take a win or two in the Big 12 Tournament to seal it up.

Their last three games: at home vs. No. 11 Texas Tech, at home vs. No. 16 Kansas State, @ Texas.