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Texas struggles to keep pace with TCU, falls 87-71

Texas couldn’t contain TCU’s sharpshooting offense and suffered its second-largest loss of the season as a result.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Texas Christian Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It was simply one of those games for Shaka Smart’s Texas Longhorns, yet again.

While TCU shot out of the gates offensively and never cooled, the Longhorns struggled to find an offensive rhythm until the second half, and by that point, it was too late en route to a 87-71 loss to the red-hot Horned Frogs.

To put into perspective what kind of performance TCU enjoyed as Texas essentially watched helplessly on the defensive end, the Horned Frogs racked up 15 assists on 21 made field goals in the first half. More notably, TCU turned the ball over just once in the first half with only 13.8 seconds remaining before halftime. Texas, on the other hand, opened the game up with back-to-back turnovers that sparked TCU’s hot start offensively.

Mohamed Bamba played his part in attempted to match points with TCU, but by intermission, the Horned Frogs enjoyed a fairly comfortable 48-37 edge.

Not much changed coming out of the break.

Much like how the game started, TCU opened the second half on a quick 5-0 run to push its lead to 53-37, and that double-digit lead held firm throughout much of the second half.

After watching TCU’s lead balloon to 57-40, Texas did make a push of its own, as Bamba led the way for a 10-2 Texas run, and following a pair of threes from Kerwin Roach II and Eric Davis Jr., the Longhorns cut the lead to 63-55 with just under 12 minutes remaining.

That was as interesting as Texas would make it, though.

Vladimir Bodziansky answered the Longhorns run with a three before adding four more points throughout the next minute to keep TCU’s lead comfortable. That theme remained, with virtually every punch from Texas being answered with a counterpunch by the Horned Frogs, such as when Matt Coleman’s three-pointer to trim the lead to 75-66 with 7:15 remaining was answered by a Kenrich Williams three on the other end just seconds later.

With Bamba unable to make his mark on the defensive end and TCU sinking 10 threes and nearly 55 percent of its field goal attempts, the Longhorns 10 threes and 51-percent shooting effort simply wasn’t anywhere near enough after TCU made seven more field goal attempts.

As a result, Texas suffered its second-largest loss of the season and enters the final stretch riding a two-game losing streak and having lost three of its last four games.

Now 15-10 (5-7) on the season, the Longhorns NCAA Tournament aspirations are very much in question. Of Texas’ six remaining regular season matchups, the Longhorns have beaten only Oklahoma, and the next time around, Texas will visit the Sooners.

  • Bamba finished with 23 points and Davis finished with 16 points, but no other Longhorn scored more than seven.
  • Texas was out-rebounded (33-22), out-assisted (23-18) and committed more turnovers 11-6) than TCU.
  • Four Horned Frogs scored in double figures, led by Brodziansky’s 25 points.