It was a hard-fought 40 minutes, but TCU Men’s Basketball fell short in an upset effort against No. 10 West Virginia, losing 74-66. This brings the Frogs’ record on the season to 11-10 overall and 4-8 in Big 12 play.
Without watching the game, if you were to tell me the Horned Frogs would shoot nearly 50% from the field, 35% from deep and outscore the Mountaineers, who are known for their dominant post play, 32-26 in the paint I would have thought no shot TCU loses. This ideology fails to take into consideration the Big 12 officiating crews and their never-ending bogus calls.
There were 15 fouls called on the Horned Frogs during the second half alone including five of them occurring within just six Mountaineer possessions. The Frogs couldn’t catch a break.
RJ Nembhard commented on the abundance of calls late in the game: “It can be difficult. You start thinking about ways you can defend and it can mess with your psyche. It didn’t go our way. We were playing hard and playing physical, but we got some bad beats,” said Nembhard.
It’s also hard to win games whenever your opponent is shooting nearly twice as many free throws as you, and tonight WVU had 33 shots from the charity stripe compared to the Frogs 17. Ironically, neither team shot above 60% from the line; WVU went 19-33 and TCU shot 10-17. The Mountaineers were in the bonus for the final 12:20 of the game though their free throws weren’t the difference maker.
The story of the night was rebounds and second chance opportunities. The Mountaineers controlled the glass on both ends of the floor out rebounding the frogs 38-30. For offensive rebounds in particular, the Frogs were beaten significantly 13-3 only scoring four second-chance points all game.
“There is no way to win against a team like West Virginia unless we out rebound them, and we didn’t do that tonight,” said Head Coach Jamie Dixon. “We’ve got to find a way to win, there is no excuse.”
Dixon expressed the fact that he feels like the team did better on offense overall compared to recent games, especially when it comes to decision making and recognizing traps, but giving up 13 offensive rebounds is a tough number to get around.
Even though they didn’t get the result they were hoping for, there were a few Horned Frogs with stand-out performances. RJ Nembhard led the team in scoring with 17 points and a near double-double with 9 assists, Kevin Samuel put up his second double-double in the last four games with 11 points and 10 rebounds and PJ Fuller had a solid night of shooting going 3-5 from deep with 9 points.
With the Big 12 announcing changes to the schedule earlier this afternoon, TCU is set to take on Iowa State this Saturday in Ames.