#743 Texas Christian University Horned Frogsvs.#744 University of Texas Longhorns
Written by Benjamin Hayes
TCU Horned Frogs (12-3 SU, 8-5 ATS, 6-7 O/U) at Texas Longhorns (7-8 SU, 8-6 ATS, 5-9 O/U)
When and Where: Wednesday, Jan. 11., Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Tx., 8pmET
Texas is looking for some consistency. The Longhorns fell at Iowa State, 79-70 to fall to 1-2 in the Big 12. TCU lost at West Virginia, 82-70 to also start out at 1-2 in the league. Last season, these two teams split the series, with Texas beating TCU at home, 71-54 on Jan. 26, 2016.
TCU and Jamie Dixon found that out on Saturday. West Virginia was up by 11 at the half against the Horned Frogs, who went on a 17-6 run in the second half to tie the game at 57-57. But the Mountaineers made more plays down the stretch led by three blocks from freshman Sagaba Konate. Alex Robinson led TCU with 17 points, but also committed five turnovers. Vlad Brodziansky added 14 points and six boards on 5-of-6 from the field. TCU is now 0-10 against West Virginia since both teams joined the Big 12 five seasons again. TCU shot 46.2 percent from the field and committed 18 turnovers. The Mountaineers shot 45.8 percent from the field and outrebounded the Horned Frogs by seven.
This was the second game for TCU since guard Malique Trent left the program. He had averaged 11.6 points and 2.1 steals per game last season, but his playing time had diminished and was averaging just 3.8 points per game in 12 contests this season. Robinson leads the Horned Frogs in scoring with 11.6 points per game on 41.9 percent 3-point shooting. Brodziansky adds 11.4 points per game and 5.2 rebounds on 59 percent shooting. TCU averages 77.9 points per game and shoots 46.6 percent from the field. They allow just 65.6 points per game and 41.4 percent from the field.
Texas came back from a nine-point halftime deficit to cut the lead to 68-65 with 3:42 to play. The Cyclones recovered with five straight points to go up by eight with 1:33 left and then closed out the game at the free-throw line. Kerwin Roach II’s 21 points led the way for the Longhorns, who also got 15 points from Tevin Mack (six rebounds). Texas shot 52.9 percent from the field and 8-of-16 from the three-point line. They also outrebounded Iowa State by seven, but Texas hurt themselves with 19 turnovers and 8-of-16 shooting from the free-throw line.
Mack leads the Horns with 15.2 points and is shooting 39.8 percent from the three-point line this season. Roach Jr. adds 11.6 points and is shooting 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. Texas struggles on offense, averaging just 70.4 points per game and 43.9 percent from the field (30.6 percent). They are pretty good on defense, allowing just 67.3 points per game and 40.3 percent from the field (30.4 percent from beyond the arc).
College Basketball Trends:
Texas has been dreadful lately, losing three of four games. TCU has a more efficient offense and has the guards to hand the “havoc” defense of Shaka Smart. That defense has not exactly been as effective in the Big 12 than it was with VCU in the Atlantic 10 or CAA. Ultimately, Smart will get his young team going because the rotation is mainly full of freshman and sophomores.
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Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!