TCU’s 40 first-half points were the second most Texas Tech has allowed in a half at home this season. The 45 they allowed to Tech in the second half tied for the most TCU has given up in a half this season.
In a complete reversion from one half to the next, TCU took a 13-point first half lead and turned it into a 13-point loss in Lubbock, where ball control and defensive effort went to die on Saturday afternoon.
Damion Baugh scored 14 points for TCU, to go with four rebounds and four assists. Eddie Lampkin scored eight and pulled down eight rebounds, and Francisco Farabello went 3-3 from deep on the day.
Mike Miles was back in the lineup after missing two games due to a wrist injury. He led the Frogs with 16 points, 11 of which came in the first half, as TCU worked out to a 35-22 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the half.
TCU built their lead largely thanks to hot hands from deep, making seven first half threes. Damion Baugh made three, while Miles, Chuck O’Bannon, Micah Peavy, and Farabello all contributed one as well, as TCU looked to shoot Texas Tech out of their own building.
But, as we’ve seen so often this season, TCU’s large lead was short lived.
Texas Tech responded out of a timeout with six points in less than 30 seconds, cutting TCU’s lead to 35-28. Souleymane Doumbia got in on the scoring action for TCU with a tough basket, but Tech continued to apply pressure, cutting into the Frogs lead with a 9-2 run over the last four minutes of the half.
TCU, who took incredibly good care of the ball for the first 15 minutes of the half, giving up just three turnovers, turned it over four times in the final five minutes to help Tech’s cause.
At the break, TCU’s lead was 40-37. All in all, despite the slow end to the half, the Frogs looked to be in decent shape.
That changed quickly and dramatically in the second half, as Texas Tech scored the first nine points to open up a 46-40 lead. The Frogs turned it over twice, fouled twice, and missed three shots during Tech’s run.
Eddie Lampkin looked to keep TCU close though, scoring two tough baskets to pull TCU within four, 48-44.
That’s as close as TCU would get.
Tech responded to Lampkin’s mini-run with a 14-1 run over the next 5:25 of game time, pulling out to a 62-45 lead. TCU’s rebounding was non-existent, while their defense collapsed and the turnovers got out of control, while Texas Tech reminded everyone why their a Top 10 team in the nation.
The Red Raiders expanded their lead to as many as 22, leading 78-56 with 5:43 remaining in the contest. TCU whittled it down to 12 at 80-68 thanks to a handful of threes from O’Bannon, Farabello, and Miles, but ultimately TCU was out of it.
TCU reached the 15 turnover mark for the 13th time this season. Jamie Dixon has consistently talked about keeping that number around 10 per game, a feat TCU has managed just four times this season, and a whopping zero times in Big 12 play.
The fact of the matter is, TCU will continue to shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers until the coaching staff finds a way to minimize them. The current game plan isn’t cutting it.
Yes, TCU’s guard depth has been hit with injuries this season, but the Frogs simply have to take better care of the basketball.
The frustrating part is that TCU took care of the ball well for the first 15 minutes. They turned it over just three times as they opened up their 35-22 lead.
Then the wheels came off and they turned it over 17 times in the final 25 minutes of the game.
Some of the turnovers were baffling, too. TCU was called for a five second violation on Saturday, another example on the long list of how this team has struggled at times simply to inbound the ball. That’s a coaching thing.
Doumbia was called for a lane violation that negated a made Mike Miles free throw. That’s a discipline thing.
Texas Tech beat TCU to every loose ball in the second half. That’s an effort thing.
Dixon and Co. have to find a solution to the sloppy play, whether that’s using different lineups, moving around responsibilities, or hitting reset on their game plan.
The fact is, TCU is dead last in the Big 12 when it comes to turnover margin. That has to change.
With just eight games left in the regular season, it could be the difference between making the NCAA Tournament or the NIT.
The Frogs now sit at 16-6 on the season and 5-5 in Big 12 play. They have a chance to right the ship this Tuesday when they host Iowa State, a team they’ve already beaten once this season.