TCU is officially cold again.
Falling behind by double digits in the opening minutes of the second half, the Horned Frogs could not generate the stops required for a comeback and lost 82-70 to hot-shooting Oklahoma State on Wednesday night.
That scenario had played out five times before in the Big 12 schedule for the Horned Frogs until they won three out of four.
But now they have lost two straight, leaving them only a home game at Iowa State to use to regain momentum for the Big 12 tournament next week.
“Let’s not kid ourselves — we were running our stuff, and we were good in the first half,” coach Trent Johnson said. “It was at the other end — defensively. You’re not going to beat a lot of teams in this league when you give up 80 points. We couldn’t guard them.”
But it would have been hard for many teams, no matter how well they guarded, to keep up with Oklahoma State (18-11, 8-9) on its Senior Night.
The Cowboys, who are trying to grab a first-round bye in Kansas City next week, made 11 of 17 3-pointers, including 4 of 4 by senior guard Anthony Hickey. They led by 19 points at 14:48. They got points from nine players, shot 48.2 percent, and were 17-for-22 at the foul line. Hickey and Le’Bryan Nash each had 20 points, shooting 15-for-24 combined.
It was just too much.
That 1-for-12 start from the field for the Cowboys sounded like merely a rumor after the game.
“I say we couldn’t guard them, but it wasn’t because of lack of effort,” Johnson said. “They made plays. They shot deep 3s. Late in the first half, Nash had two old-fashioned three-point plays in the lane, and we lost [Phil] Forte in an on-ball situation, he hit a deep 3, and that got him in rhythm. But like I said, 11-for-17 from the 3-point line, that’s pretty good.”
Kyan Anderson had all 23 of his points in the second half for the Horned Frogs (17-13, 4-13). The senior guard went 6-for-9 from the field and 10-for-10 on free throws after halftime.
“I came out to a slow start,” he said. “Second half, I wanted to be a little aggressive just to keep my team in it. I thought we were a little stagnant on the offensive end. I tried to do what I could to get my team going.”
Senior forward Amric Fields had 14 points, breaking 1,000 points for his career at TCU. Trey Zeigler had 10 points and led the team in rebounds
TCU led most of the first half, but Nash’s three-point play, Forte’s jumper and another Nash three-point play helped Oklahoma State score nine points in the last 31/2 minutes of the first half for a 34-30 halftime lead.
Fields’ 3-point play cut the lead to 39-33, but a 13-0 blitz put Oklahoma State ahead 52-33 with 14:30 left, and the game was out of reach. The capper was Nash’s put-back with him crashing to the floor for a three-point play after three offensive rebounds by the Cowboys.
The Horned Frogs played even the rest of the way, but never got their own 13-point run and instead lost for the seventh time by double digits in conference.
“Any team that goes down 15 in this league, it’s going to be tough to come back,” Anderson said. “This is a tough team to beat at home. The main thing was just to try to keep fighting. We didn’t make enough plays on the defensive end to get back in it.”
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407