For the first time in his tenure as TCU men’s basketball coach, Jamie Dixon will try to stem a losing streak when the Horned Frogs (14-5, 3-4 Big 12) face Oklahoma State (11-8, 1-6) during Monday’s matchup in Stillwater, Okla.
The Frogs fell to No. 6 Baylor 62-53 in front of a capacity-plus crowd Saturday in Fort Worth. In a back-and-forth game that featured 16 lead changes, TCU surrendered its final advantage with 4:16 remaining and has dropped consecutive games for the first time in Dixon’s inaugural season.
Baylor (18-1, 6-1) seized control with a 15-4 closing push. TCU made just 1-of-8 shots from the field during that pivotal stretch. In last week’s 75-69 loss at Texas Tech, TCU saw a 64-64 deadlock disappear over the final 3:08 when the Frogs missed six consecutive shots while the Red Raiders went on a game-turning, 6-0 run.
29.3 TCU’s shooting percentage in Saturday’s 62-53 loss to No. 6 Baylor, the team’s lowest of the season
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That’s two late-game fades in as many outings, with a combined shooting mark of 1-for-14 during crunch time. In a league that produces lots of tight games, Dixon knows TCU must reverse that trend as quickly as possible.
“We’ve got to get it done in the last five minutes. Every Big 12 game, it’s the same thing,” said Dixon, whose team has seen six of its seven conference games settled by single-digit margins. “Now, we’ve lost two in a row where we didn’t get it done down the stretch ... We’ve got to shoot the ball better. That’s obvious.”
The Frogs connected on a season-low 29.3 percent of their shots (17-of-58) against Baylor, including a 25 percent mark in the second half (7-of-28). Although the Frogs controlled the boards against the taller Bears, 38-37, TCU saw its record drop to 12-1 when leading at halftime.
We’ve got to get it done in the last five minutes. Every Big 12 game, it’s the same thing.
TCU men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon
Dixon is counting on an uptick in the shooting percentage Monday in Gallagher-Iba Arena (6 p.m., ESPNU). But the Cowboys are coming off arguably their best game of the season, Saturday’s 83-64 victory over Texas Tech in Lubbock. That’s the same Tech team that defeated TCU by six points in Lubbock three days earlier.
But in the balanced Big 12, there seems to be minimal carryover from game to game regarding teams’ performances. Dixon stressed that shot selection was not the issue against Baylor, particularly when the Bears were playing a man-to-man defense. The Frogs, he said, missed too many open jumpers. The week before against Iowa State, TCU connected on 56.9 percent of its shots in an 84-77 win over the Cyclones.
“You’ve got to keep battling and getting better. You’ve got to respond and get it done,” Dixon said, laying out his blueprint for breaking TCU’s two-game losing streak. “We have to believe we’re going to get it done and we have to go get it done.”
TCU men at Oklahoma State
6 p.m. Monday, ESPNU