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Santa Clara 85, TCU 66: Frogs fall flat in California

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TCU falls to 3-1 on the season.

TCU got blown out by Santa Clara on Monday night85-66. Nothing clicked for the Frogs, who saw the game get away from them midway through the first half and they never recovered. In fact, the only time TCU led was at 1-0, after Emanuel Miller went 1-2 from the free throw line just 22 seconds into the contest.

Jamie Dixon has talked early on this season about how good the Frogs are at two things: defense and rebounding. Neither were on display Monday. Santa Clara came into the game averaging 88.75 points per game on 53.8% shooting from the floor over their first four games, and TCU couldn’t do anything to break their stride.

On Monday the Broncos shot 61.2% from the floor, 68.8% from three, and out-rebounded TCU 39-24. They did so playing just seven guys while missing their second-leading scorer.

The blowout included a 22-0 run that spanned the final 2:07 of the first half all the way to the 15:21 mark of the second half, during which the Frogs went 0-8 from the floor.

TCU once again started slowly, making just one of their first seven shots from the floor, at which point Santa Clara was already out to a 10-4 lead. Offensively TCU had one good stretch, a 14-3 run late in the second half, when things seemed well in hand for Santa Clara. At the end of the run TCU trailed 65-50, but didn’t get any closer than that the rest of the night.

This is the same offense we’ve seen for six seasons now under Dixon. An offense predicated on moving the ball on the perimeter, with a few cuts here and there, sometimes a pass inside, but truly dependent on a single ball-handler being capable of creating an opportunity for himself or others.

This year that creator is Mike Miles but he struggled on the night, scoring 10 points on just 4-15 shooting from the floor. He also had seven assists and five rebounds.

Two bright spots for TCU were Maxwell Evans and Micah Peavy. Evans led TCU with 15 points on 50% shooting from the floor, as he looks to get back into shape after missing almost a month of practice leading up to the start of the season.

Peavy’s hustle was again on display throughout his 10 point, five rebound performance.

There’s clearly athleticism on this team and some good scoring talent too. That should equate to TCU being able to knock off teams like Santa Clara, even if the Broncos are a fantastic shooting team.

Instead, the Frogs lost by 19, committed 20 fouls, and got destroyed on the glass.

This is a quick season though, and TCU needs to dust themselves off and come ready to play Wednesday night when they face off against 2-3 Pepperdine.