TCU scored just two points in the final four minutes of Tuesday night’s game, falling at home to Iowa State 54-51. The loss dropped TCU to 16-7 on the season and 5-6 in Big 12 play.
Eddie Lampkin led the way for TCU with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Emanuel Miller added 14 points of his own. The duo combined for 21 points in the second half alone, but got just six from their teammates, as TCU dropped a game they couldn’t afford to lose.
Mike Miles went 0-9 from the floor, just the second time in his TCU career - and first time this season - that he hasn’t made at least one basket. All three of his points came from the free throw line.
TCU once again was abysmal from three, making just three of eighteen attempts. The Frogs are now shooting just 29.3% from three this season, yet they average 20.7 attempted threes per game.
The win for Iowa State was just their fourth in Big 12 play, after being ranked for most of the early season. The Cyclones snapped a 4-game losing streak with the victory.
Jamie Dixon noted after the game that this was not a game TCU could afford to lose, and yet they did, falling to just 2-4 at home in conference play.
Defensively, TCU struggled to consistently defend ball screens and off-ball cutters, allowing Iowa State score 24 points in the paint on the night. Izaiah Brockington also hit big shots in big moments, leading the Cyclones with 20 points and seven rebounds.
TCU pulled out to an early 7-4 lead thanks to a brilliant pass fake from Francisco Farabello that led to him hitting a wide open three, which was followed by a falling-away jumper made by Damion Baugh on the baseline.
The Frogs stretched their lead to 13-8 thanks to a Miller baseline jumper a few minutes later. TCU maintained a small lead all the way down to the 3:04 mark of the first half, when Brockington threw down a fast break dunk to give Iowa State a 20-19 advantage.
The Frogs responded by outscoring Iowa State 5-2 over the rest of the first half to take a 24-22 lead into the break.
With both offenses struggling in the first half it seemed to be destined to be a low-scoring game, but both teams showed renewed energy to open the second half. The teams traded leads in the first two minutes before a putback dunk from Chuck O’Bannon got the crowd in Schollmaier to their feet.
TCU’s next time down the court saw Miles lob a beautiful ally oop to Miller, who flushed it with enthusiasm, forcing an Iowa State timeout and giving TCU a 30-27 lead.
TCU played outstanding defense over the next 3:57 of game time, allowing Iowa State to score just four points while the Frogs built a 37-31 lead.
The Cyclones snapped out of their offensive lull thanks to a corner three from Caleb Grill at the 13:17 mark of the second half. The shot sparked an 8-2 run that pulled Iowa State even with TCU at 39 with 12:06 remaining.
TCU would get just two more points (thanks to two made free throws from Miles) over the next 2:50 of game time as Iowa State worked their way into the lead 43-41.
Lampkin stepped up in a big way for the Frogs, trying to will TCU to a win, scoring eight consecutive points for TCU from the 8:58 mark down to the 4:01 mark of the second half. His last basket put TCU ahead 49-47. That would be the Frogs’ last lead of the game.
TCU went just 1-for-6 from the floor in the final 4:01 of the contest, and couldn’t overcome the slim lead held by Iowa State.
The Frogs now have seven games remaining in the next 18 days as they try to build an NCAA Tournament-worthy resume. The next game up is in Waco this Saturday where they’ll face Baylor at 11:00am.
Check out the full postgame comments from Emanuel Miller, Eddie Lampkin, and Jamie Dixon below.