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West Virginia 76, TCU 67: Frogs fall to .500 on the season

TCU showed heart in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome poor first half shooting.

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

TCU lost to No. 6 West Virginia on Thursday night 76-67, falling to 12-12 on the regular season. Jamie Dixon is now in danger of suffering his first losing season in 18 years as a head coach.

Jaedon LeDee tallied a career-high 20 points for the Frogs, making his presence felt in the paint. Although a bit undersized for a 5, LeDee showed great athleticism and strength, pulling down five offensive rebounds that led to seven second-chance points.

Mike Miles finished with 15 points and Kevin Samuel added 12, but the Frogs couldn’t string enough good things together to really give the Mountaineers a run.

Jalen Bridges led the way for West Virginia with 22 points and 12 boards, while big man Derek Culver added 17 points and generally got away with murder in the paint. After finally being called for an offensive foul down low with 50 seconds remaining in the game, TCU’s bench got called for a technical foul.

“Finally you call one,” was the offending phrase shouted at the officials.

West Virginia shot 25 free throws in the second half to just 14 for TCU, but officiating, while suspect as usual, was not the reason TCU lost this basketball game.

The Frogs fell into a big hole early, largely in part to very poor first-half shooting. TCU made just four baskets in the first half, while the Mountaineers had their way in the paint. The deficit was as large as 16 points in the first half, with TCU trailing 32-18 at the break.

Mike Miles led the Frogs with seven points, but TCU shot just 18% from the floor and 14% from deep. That’s simply not going to get it done in Big 12 play.

Something inspiring must have been said in the locker room at halftime, because TCU came out and looked like a completely different team in the second half. They shot 53% from the floor, crashed the boards, rotated well on defense, and saw their deficit shrink by half along the way.

Unfortunately though, every time TCU pushed, West Virginia found just enough to push back. The Mountaineers shot just 34% from the floor in the second half, but relied on controlling the pace of the game and just enough made buckets to keep TCU at arm’s length.

The Frogs never got within seven points of the Mountaineers, and ultimately fell to the No. 6 overall team in the nation.

So the questions continue to surround this TCU basketball team with one regular season game remaining, this Sunday against No. 15 Texas at the Scholly.