TCU falters down the stretch in Stillwater, loses to Oklahoma State 89-76



TCU guard Alex Robinson (25) shoots as Oklahoma State forward Leyton Hammonds (23) defends in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. Oklahoma State won 89-76. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

By Garrett Podell

TCU tied Oklahoma State at 51 with under 10 minutes left in the game, but the Horned Frogs failed to leave Stillwater victorious Monday night, falling 89-76. TCU led 67-63 with 5:53 remaining, but the Cowboys went on a 12-2 run over the next two and a half minutes to put the game out of reach for the Horned Frogs.

“Everybody in the locker room is disappointed,” TCU forward Kenrich Williams said. “We knew this was a game that we should have won, and we’re disappointed.”

TCU head coach Jamie Dixon also reflected on the Horned Frog’s third consecutive defeat.

“Tight game down to nine minutes, ten minutes left,” Dixon said. “They simply outplayed us down the stretch and got a 13 point win in a game that was tied.”

The Horned Frogs have dropped nine-straight games in Stillwater with the last and only win coming more than 90 years ago during the 1924-25 season, 07-16.  TCU is looking for its first win in the state of Oklahoma since a 57-54 win at Tulsa on Feb. 26, 1998.

The loss dropped the TCU to 14-6 overall and 3-5 in the Big 12, now  14-3 against unranked opponents.

TCU lost just its third game out of sixteen when out-rebounding its opponent, edging out the Cowboys 35-30. The rebounding advantage fueled TCU for most of the night, as they had 23 second chance points, but the Horned Frogs still finished the game with a subpar shooting percentage of 39% on 24-61 shooting.

In an attempt to fix their offensive woes, TCU featured a new starting lineup Jaylen Fisher, Alex Robinson, Kenrich Williams, Brandon Parrish and Vladimir Brodziansky. The Horned Frogs had gone 10-straight games with the same starting lineup, but replaced J.D. Miller with Parrish.

“We took too many jump shots at the end,” TCU forward Kenrich Williams said.

Dixon agreed.

“The rebound was the only thing that kept us in it,” Dixon said.  We were tied and still shooting horribly from the three.”

Even though the Horned Frogs out-rebounded OSU, the Cowboys were able to make their presence felt down low, outscoring TCU in the paint, 50-26.

TCU’s aggressive offensive rebounding approach came back to bite to them, as the Cowboys had ten more fast break points than the Horned Frogs 18-8.

“I didn’t think our defense was sound,” Dixon said.

Although the Horned Frogs had a tremendous improvement at the free throw, TCU still couldn’t take advantage. “We made our free throws, but then I look at them and they shot 95 percent and we shot 91,” Dixon said. “They even out shot us there.”

OSU’s x-factor Monday night was a Dallas-native, freshman guard Jawun Evans, who scored a game-high 27 points on 11-17 shooting.

“He is a tough guard,” Williams said. “When he gets a full head of steam, he is quick, and he can make plays when he has the ball in his hands.”

Williams and TCU forward Vladimir Brodziansky led the way for the Horned Frogs in scoring, each finishing with 20 points. Brodziansky heated up late in the game for TCU.

“Coaches were just telling me to stay and stay focused, keep going, don’t give up,” Brodziansky said. “I was just trying to play harder, give more effort in my shots, finish a little bit stronger.”

Brodziansky led TCU in scoring for the fifth consecutive game and a team-best eighth time this season. Williams recorded his eighth double-double of the season and 10th of his career with a career-high 20 points and a team-best 12 boards, with eleven coming on the offensive end of the court.

TCU returns home to Schollmaier Arena Saturday to face the Auburn Tigers. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.