No. 24 TCU unable to overcome poor shooting in 63-58 loss to No. 3 Kansas

Feb 20, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Gradey Dick (4) and TCU Horned Frogs guard Damion Baugh (10) go for a loose ball during the first half at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

No. 24 TCU unable to overcome poor shooting in 63-58 loss to No. 3 Kansas

No. 3 Kansas 63, No. 24 TCU 58

On a night that saw TCU celebrate quarterback Max Duggan’s Davey O’Brien award trophy, the 24th-ranked Horned Frogs basketball team (18-10, 7-8 Big 12) came up short in a 63-58 loss to No. 3 Kansas. Duggan, seated courtside in formal attire, was unable to will the Frogs to a win on a night they shot the basketball poorly from start to finish. 

Gradey Dick led the way for the victorious Jayhawks (23-5, 11-4 Big 12), scoring 14 of his 19 points in the first half and committing just one turnover. Mike Miles Jr. led the way for TCU with 13 points, but struggled to shoot all night. Miles went just 4-for-14 from the field, and Damion Baugh went just 4-for-16. TCU was also out-rebounded, 48-42. 

After shooting an absurd 68% in Saturday’s blowout over Oklahoma State, Monday night was a frustrating step in the wrong direction for the Horned Frogs’ offense. 

Fort Worth was buzzing ahead of TCU’s showdown with Kansas, an opportunity for the Horned Frogs to validate their 83-60 road win over the Jayhawks on Jan. 21 as well as to continue the positive momentum earned in last Saturday’s blowout win over Oklahoma State. TCU’s fans donned all white for the occasion, packing Schollmaier Arena to the brim with its third-largest crowd in arena history. Still, TCU could never fully get over the hump against the talented Jayhawks. 

Monday night’s game got off to an exceptionally slow start – Gradey Dick’s 3-pointer opened the scoring for Kansas after more than two and a half scoreless minutes, and TCU’s first points did not arrive until the 15:27 mark of the opening half. Mike Miles Jr., who missed five consecutive games before returning for the Horned Frogs’ blowout of Oklahoma State, scored his first points on a 3-pointer to make it 9-7 with 13:30 to play. 

The Horned Frogs made just five of their first 15 field goals, but still managed to trail by only a point with 10:15 to play in the first half. When Micah Peavy converted a 3-point play with 9:42 to go, TCU tied the Jayhawks for the first time at 16. Less than a minute later, a free throw by Xavier Cork gave the Frogs their first lead. 

TCU built offensive momentum as the first half rolled on, in large part thanks to its suffocating defense creating opportunities for the Horned Frogs’ playmakers to attack downhill offensively. JaKobe Coles’ transition 3-pointer with 4:46 to go gave TCU its largest lead yet, and forced Bill Self to call timeout with his Jayhawks suddenly trailing 25-21. 

That lead did not last. Kansas retook a 29-27 advantage after an 8-2 run, and led 33-29 at halftime after Ernest Udeh Jr.’s dunk at the buzzer. Gradey Dick paced all scorers in the game with 14 points for the Jayhawks, while JaKobe Coles led the Horned Frogs with seven. TCU shot just 32.1% in the first half, but committed just three turnovers and only sent Kansas to the line to shoot one free throw.

The Horned Frogs and Jayhawks traded buckets in the early moments of the second half, but TCU failed to convert multiple opportunities to take back a lead. Kansas extended its advantage to as many as six instead before a 3-point play by JaKobe Coles and a transition dunk by Micah Peavy made it 47-46 with 10:44 on the clock. 

JaKobe Coles’ layup finally did tie the game at 48 with 10:13 to go, but the ensuing free throw clanked off the rim to keep the Frogs from forging ahead. Every TCU run was met with a Kansas run to pull back out to a two or three possession lead, repeatedly denying the Schollmaier Arena crowd opportunities to explode with excitement. 

Kansas matched its game-high lead when Jalen Wilson’s put-back layup made it 60-53 with just under five minutes to go. 

Nevertheless, the Horned Frogs continued to pry the door open in the final moments. A 5-0 run made it 60-58 with less than two minutes to go, but TCU could never get a good look at the bucket when it needed one late. 

After Jalen Wilson missed the front end of a one-and-one at the free throw line, TCU’s Damion Baugh missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with seven seconds left. Two free throws from Kevin McCullar iced it with 1.5 seconds to go, and Kansas escaped Fort Worth with a five-point victory. 

The Horned Frogs never trailed by more than seven, but could not overcome making just 20-of-66 (30.3%) field goals in the loss. 

TCU next travels to Lubbock on Saturday for a battle with resurgent Texas Tech. 

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