TCU can’t keep pace with West Virginia in second half

Posted Saturday, Mar. 01, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Sixteen games into this season’s Big 12 schedule, TCU is still searching for its first conference victory.

The Horned Frogs were handed their 16th consecutive loss Saturday as West Virginia ran away with an 81-59 victory at WVU Coliseum.

TCU (9-19, 0-16) trailed by only three points at halftime but was undone by defensive struggles in the second half. The Mountaineers (16-13, 8-8) outrebounded the Frogs 44-29 and capitalized on 13 TCU turnovers.

TCU shot 50 percent from the field in the first half but struggled to get anything going in the second half, when it went 8 for 27 (29.6 percent). The Horned Frogs’ Karviar Shepherd led the way with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Junior guard Kyan Anderson, TCU’s leading scorer, scored 10 points and shot 27 percent from the field.

“They kind of took the ball out of my hands to the point where some of my other teammates had to step up and shoot the ball,” Shepherd said. “I wasn’t in position to get as many good shots as I did in the first half, so they kind of took that away from me.”

WVU used a 30-10 run in the second half to build its lead. Freshman forward Devin Williams finished with a double-double, while three other Mountaineers were in double digits. Sophomore guard Eron Harris leading the way with 18 points.

“It was a good first half,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said. “[We] got worn down in the second half. Going into the game, we knew they had the ability to cause problems for us offensively with their multiple types of pressure. They did a very good job of taking Kyan Anderson out.”

Johnson said his team was worn out due to its lack of depth and shooting woes. WVU’s zone defense also gave the Horned Frogs problems in the second half.

“I thought late there was some fatigue,” he said. “For a possession or two, we stopped competing. This is a resilient group. The goal for us is to play a good caliber of basketball regardless [of] who’s on the floor.”

Junior guard Juwan Staten gave TCU fits all afternoon, adding 17 points and going 9 for 10 from the free-throw line in 36 minutes of play.

“He’s a handful in transition,” Johnson said. “It’s all about winning to him. The body language, whether they’re up or down, is impressive. In the four games I’ve competed against him, he’s trying to make all the winning plays.”

The Horned Frogs shot just 22.2 percent from beyond the arc and 39.2 percent from the field.

For West Virginia, it will finish the regular season above .500 and can now qualify for the NIT Tournament.

TCU will visit No. 24 Texas on Wednesday night before closing the regular season at home March 8 against Oklahoma, which beat UT on Saturday.

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