A valiant effort by an undermanned TCU basketball team was undone by untimely late turnovers and an inability to slow Texas Tech inside in the final few minutes.
The Red Raiders held on for a 60-54 win Saturday before a crowd of about 5,000 at United Spirit Arena. It’s the second time Tech has escaped with a victory against the Horned Frogs in two weeks.
TCU (9-11, 0-8 Big 12) led 40-32 early in the second half after consecutive jumpers from Amric Fields, a 3-pointer from Brandon Parrish and a free throw from Kyan Anderson.
But a rash of Frogs turnovers led to easy baskets for the Red Raiders (11-11, 3-6), who took advantage during an 8-0 run in a two-minute stretch to tie it at 40-40 with 13:03 remaining.
Anderson, who led TCU with 22 points, converted a three-point play to stop the run, but turnovers, again slowed the Frogs.
“I thought Texas Tech caused some problems with their pressure,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said. “I thought they did a good job of trying to wear us down and getting us out of rhythm. It’s no secret we’re not very deep, and I thought that took its toll on us at crucial times.”
Fields, playing the post for the injured Karviar Shepherd, struggled early, beginning the game 1 for 5 from the field.
He rebounded in the second half and made his first three shots, including a jump hook and a baseline jumper. But Fields, who is not back to 100 percent physically since knee surgery more than a year ago, was gassed defending Texas Tech post Dejan Kravic for much of the game. Kravic led Tech with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
Fields and Anderson both played 39 minutes. Parrish played 37. The Frogs, with only seven scholarship players available, relied mostly on six players for the majority of the game.
Three players combined for eight minutes off the bench. The fatigue likely contributed to TCU’s 20 turnovers, including six from Fields. He finished with nine points and a team-high seven rebounds.
“It’s disappointing, but at this point in time you can’t get down,” Anderson said. “Right now, we’re just trying to stay as positive as possible. It does hurt; I do feel like we let one get away from us, especially with the turnovers.”
Tech built a 50-45 lead with under seven minutes left, but TCU didn’t fold. Christian Gore, who played 27 minutes, hit a 3-pointer from the corner and made two free throws to tie it at 50-50 with four minutes remaining.
TCU, despite playing without leading rebounder Shepherd, edged Tech 26-24 in rebounding. In the final four minutes, however, the Red Raiders were able to grab the rebound or loose ball more than TCU.
Dusty Hannahs’ layup on an open lane gave Tech a 55-51 lead with 52 seconds left. Another drive by Hannahs led to two free throws to give Tech a 57-51 lead with 36 seconds to go. The last four minutes, Tech outscored TCU 8-1 until Gore’s 3-pointer just before the final buzzer.
TCU hosts No. 25 Texas at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tech has a mid-week bye before hosting No. 8 Oklahoma State at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.