Horned Frogs drop home opener

The Horned Frogs’ shooting woes continued Wednesday night as they fell to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 62-50 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Despite a solid defensive effort, TCU made just 10 field goals for the entire game. Senior forward Langford led the Horned Frogs with 19 points. No other player scored in double digits for TCU. The team shot a woeful 15.8-percent from 3-point range, and did not make a 3-pointer in the first half.

The Horned Frogs shot 28-percent for the game, and went almost 10 minutes without scoring a field goal in the second half. Junior guard Edvinas Ruzgas hit a 3-pointer from the baseline to end the drought with 3:25 remaining in the game. Prior to that shot, the last field goal the Horned Frogs made was a lay-up by Langford at the 13:02 mark.

“When you play a good team like Nebraska, when you do get an open shot, you’ve got to make them pay,” TCU head coach Jim Christian said. “And that usually leads to momentum. We just could not get any momentum or rhythm offensively all night.”

A foul-filled contest saw TCU shoot more free throws (38) than field goals (37). Four different Cornhuskers accumulated four fouls during the game. Officials called a total of 47 fouls on both teams, but Christian said that officiating did not affect the contest.

“The officiating was fantastic. It had nothing to do with that,” Christian said. “It had to do with our basketball team executing and making shots.”

The two teams jostled for control early before Nebraska took over. With the score tied at 19 and six minutes left in the first half, the Cornhuskers scored 13 of the next 15 points and led 37-24 at halftime.

“We came out intensely, and then we wilted and got a little discombobulated, took a few bad shots,” Langford said. “But you know, that’s just the game. That’s the way it happens with a young team and new guys playing together.”

The Horned Frogs made a valiant attempt to battle back. They cut the Nebraska lead to seven at 46-39 with 7:15 left before Cornhusker guard Toney McCray nailed a three-pointer to stretch the lead back to double-digits.

TCU didn’t go away though. Senior guard Jason Ebie’s free throw with 2:10 left trimmed Nebraska’s lead to 55-47. Langford said the team felt confident they could win the game despite being down for a majority of it.

“We felt like we were in the game the whole time,” Langford said. “Coach Christian was telling us, ‘One play at a time,’ especially when we came out of halftime.”

Ultimately, though, the Horned Frogs could not generate enough offense to hang with Nebraska down the stretch. Cornhusker guard Sek Henry’s layup with 28 seconds was the final nail in the coffin of the Horned Frogs.