Spun Out: TCU can’t solve Cyclone defense on the road

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There weren’t many open lanes for TCU Basketball Wednesday night, and when they did get to the rim, there was plenty of company. (TCU Basketball/@TCUBasketball)

By Melissa Triebwasser
Frogs Today staff writer


It’s a familiar refrain for the Frogs since they lost Eddie Lampkin and Mike Miles: TCU Basketball started slow, ultimately digging too deep a hole to overcome despite a furious second-half rally. That was once again the case Wednesday night as No. 22 TCU fell to No. 19 Iowa State 70-59.

The Frogs spotted Iowa State a double-digit lead before they got on the scoreboard, and trailed by as many as 13 early as the offense started ice cold in Ames. A 1-7 start from the field and 1-3 start from the free throw line was an auspicious beginning, as the combination of a feisty Iowa State defense and sloppy offense play by the Frogs made it look like the team was in for a long night.

But, as has been the case all season long, TCU battled back, using a 12-0 run to make it a one possession game midway through the first half. Sparked by Damion Baugh, who had five points in the run, and Micah Peavy, who had four including a breakaway dunk, the Frogs battled back by using their speed in the open floor. But offensive rebounds and second-chance points pushed the Cyclones back out in front as the teams battled toward the first half buzzer.

TCU trailed 15-14 after Peavy’s jam, but the Cyclones took control with an 8-0 run to take control, and turned that into a 28-16 lead thanks to five straight made field goals. The Frogs looked lost on offense, falling victim to Iowa State’s trapping defense and getting caught in bad possessions leading to turnovers. When they got to the rim, they were greeted with the long arms of the Cyclone law, with shots routinely blocked or altered by defenders in the paint.

Facing a halftime deficit of 11, 35-24, TCU came out flat to start the final 20 minutes. Iowa State opened with a 12-2 run, stretching the lead to 21 thanks to a shooting foul on an Aljaz Kunc three point attempt that was ruled intentional after a long discussion. After Kunc made all three free throws – more than TCU had made in the game to that point – Jaren Holmes added a conventional three pointer to stretch the lead to 47-26 with less than three minutes of game time having elapsed in the second stanza.

Eddie Lampkin stopped the bleeding with a nice move on the baseline out of the pick and roll that led to a three point play, kicking off another 10-0 run by the Horned Frogs that got them within 11 with 13 minutes remaining in the game.

TCU managed to cut the lead to single-digits with 10:44 to play but never got closer than that, as fouls, turnovers, and missed layups prevented the Frogs from truly getting back in this one.

A frantic 13-4 run cut the lead to single digits with under a minute to play, but two turnovers in the final 26 seconds doomed the team.

The Frogs scored just 59 points, tied for their season low, turned the ball over 14 times and went just 6-18 from the free throw line. The half court offense stagnated and the Cyclones did an excellent job taking the fast break away from TCU on their home floor. Without easy buckets in transition – and their star point guard – the Frogs simply couldn’t get anything going when they were on offense.

TCU was led by Shahada Wells and Peavy who had 15 and 13 points respectively. Peavy, for his part, gave the Frogs great energy from the tip, adding five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block to his point total. The bench provided just 12 total points in the loss.

Iowa State avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season while the Frogs’ futility fell to four straight. TCU Basketball will next host Oklahoma State Saturday morning with tip-off set for 11:00 AM. The program is hopeful to have Mike Miles return to the lineup for the matchup.

Melissa Triebwasser, melissa@frogstoday.com

Reporter, photographer, and Horned Frog for life.

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