No. 9 Texas unable to keep up with No. 22 TCU in 73-75 loss

Payne Williams, Sports Desk Editor

No. 9 Texas failed to earn a piece of the Big 12 regular season title after Wednesday’s 73-75 loss to No. 22 TCU in Fort Worth.

The Longhorns couldn’t find their footing from the game’s tip both offensively and defensively as they trailed by as many as 16 in the first half while being outrebounded 23-8 in that span.

However, Texas created a second-half push and went on a 10-2 run to squeeze the deficit to five points, but the air deflated out of the Longhorns shortly after.

Texas was looking to complete yet another comeback performance in the second half, but a mid-half dagger from TCU and a technical foul all but sealed its fate. With 10 minutes left, Horned Frog senior forward Chuck O’Bannon drained a 3-pointer, igniting momentum in the raucous purple home crowd.

Despite the shot, Texas was still within eight points and a deficit it had overcome before. However, on the following possession, interim head coach Rodney Terry was given a technical foul while he argued TCU committed an offensive foul before O’Bannon’s previous shot.

What minimal momentum Texas had all but dissipated. Junior guard Mike Miles, whom Texas held scoreless for a vast majority of the game, knocked down one of his following free throws for his first and only points of the game that pushed TCU’s lead to nine.

The Longhorns inched back within three points with a minute remaining after a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Tyrese Hunter, but it was quickly wiped away by two free throws from senior guard Damion Baugh.

Baugh led both teams with 24 points, and senior guard Sir’Jabari Rice, who was Texas’ spark for the majority of the game, led the Longhorns with 16 points.

While the Texas defense played poorly for much of Wednesday’s action, it forced 22 TCU turnovers compared to its own 11. However, the rebound margin played far more in the Horned Frogs’ favor as they outrebounded the Longhorns 46-28.

Texas loses its chance at a piece of the conference title as Kansas is the outright champion. The Longhorns have now lost consecutive games for the first time this season. They host the Jayhawks on Saturday in their regular season finale at the Moody Center.

“We still have a lot of basketball to play,” Terry said. “I think we can win the national championship.”