The Horned Frogs have found a ceiling in the Big 12 Tournament, unable to reach the Championship Game since joining the conference, TCU has lost in the Semifinal in consecutive seasons, falling to the Texas Longhorns 60-66 on Friday night in Kansas City. Both teams were without starting post players, as TCU’s Eddie Lampkin and Texas’ Timmy Allen were not available for the game, but it was the Longhorns who took advantage down low, owning the paint at T-Mobile Center.
On the defensive end, the Frogs shut down the Texas shooters, holding the ‘Horns to a season-low two made three-pointers, with Sir’Jabari Rice shooting 0-7 from long range. However, TCU could not get stops near the rim, with Texas dropping 42 points from inside the paint, led by Forward Dylan Disu’s 15 points on 6-7 shooting in just 23 minutes of game action.
It was the same story when the Frogs had the ball, as TCU could only produce 22 points in the paint while getting beat up at the rim, shooting a paltry 8-26 combined on dunks and layups (30.7%). One contributing factor to this statistic is that the Longhorns were simply not getting called for fouls near the basket; Mike Miles shot zero free throws for the game, despite being mauled often on his driving attempts. TCU entered the game as the nation’s leader in fast break scoring with 18.81 points per game, but could only get two such points on Friday. It was a rough night in particular for Damion Baugh, who led the Frogs with 35 minutes played and did secure 10 rebounds, but scored just 6 points on 1-8 shooting and committed 5 turnovers. Xavier Cork got the start at Center, but was only on the court for 8 minutes, enough time to get whistled for four fouls. A silver lining on the offensive end, TCU did continue its hot shooting from behind the arc, with 8 made threes.
TCU was able to hang around all game, but could never find that breakthrough moment to narrow the gap, as the Longhorns had an answer at every turn. The Frogs were chasing from behind all night: the deficit reach double-digits, but it never got closer than two points. The TCU offense faltered down the stretch, making just one field goal over the game’s final five minutes.
Texas improved to 25-8 on the season and will play for its 2nd Big 12 Championship in three years, matched against the top seed, #3 Kansas Jayhawks.
TCU drops to 21-12 overall and 10-10 against conference opponents. The Frogs will await its NCAA Tournament destination when the bracket is revealed on Sunday at 5:00 PM on CBS.