TCU tried doing something impossible Saturday night against Texas Tech.
Win a game without making any shots. And for a while, it seemed possible.
The Horned Frogs’ shooting woes hit a season-low in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 6,055 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. But the Red Raiders, at times dealing with their own offensive issues, weren’t able to secure their 60-49 win until the final 50 seconds.
TCU (9-8, 0-5 Big 12) shot a season-low 20.4 percent from the field, including a disastrous 1-for-19 start. TCU players missed wide-open dunks twice.
Despite the struggles, the Frogs managed to take their first (and only) lead, 24-23, on Brandon Parrish’s 3-pointer just before halftime. TCU closed on a 14-0 run and held Tech without a field goal for the final 9:32 of the first half.
“We had opportunities,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said. “We played with some passion, got some energy. We just didn’t shoot the basketball.”
After the 1-for-19 start, TCU improved to make 9 of its next 30 shots. The Red Raiders, however, shook off an icy first half (30.4 percent) to make 10 of 22 shots in the second half.
TCU’s superb night at the free-throw line (26 of 31) kept it close until the final minute. Tech never led by more than eight in the second half until the final seconds, when TCU was forced to foul.
One of the few bright spots for TCU was Karviar Shepherd, who pulled the Frogs to within 51-48 with 1:24 remaining when he was fouled on a layup after a nice feed from Jarvis Ray. Shepherd finished with 15 points, a career-high for the second consecutive game.
At the other end, however, Tech’s Robert Turner responded with a short jumper to push the lead back to five. Kyan Anderson, who was 1 for 12 from the field, made 1 of 2 free throws to cut the deficit back to four with 51 seconds left.
From there, Tech made 5 of 6 free throws and a layup by Turner secured the win. It’s Tech’s first consecutive wins in the Big 12 since February 2011.
“I think this gives us some confidence, when you can put together consecutive games and play with consistency,” Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said. “We’re learning. We’re still a work in progress, but I like the direction that we’re headed.”
Dusty Hannahs came off the bench to lead Tech with 13 points. Turner and Dejan Kravic each added 12 points.
Besides Shepherd, TCU didn’t have a consistent answer offensively. Amric Fields, Parrish, Anderson and Ray were a combined 6 of 37 from the field.
“I think the guys just pressed a little bit in terms of shooting the ball,” Johnson said. “In our first four league games, when things go bad, we have a tendency not to play as hard as we can.”
That didn’t seem to be an issue Saturday, despite the shooting problems. TCU is at Oklahoma (14-4, 3-2) at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The 25th-ranked Sooners beat No. 12 Baylor 66-64 in Waco on Saturday.