Texas Tech basketball falls to hot-shooting TCU in Fort Worth

Tuesday night, the Texas Tech basketball team fell to a hot-shooting TCU team in Forth Worth for its second Big 12 loss of the season.
Jan 30, 2024; Fort Worth, Texas, USA;  TCU Horned Frogs guard Jameer Nelson Jr. (4) shoots as Texas
Jan 30, 2024; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs guard Jameer Nelson Jr. (4) shoots as Texas / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday night, the Texas Tech basketball team ran into a buzz-saw in Fort Worth as the TCU Horned Frogs shot like they haven't all season in an 85-78 win to drop the Red Raiders to 5-2 in Big 12 play. That puts Tech in a tie with Iowa State for second place in the league, one half-game behind the Houston Cougars.

The Frogs came into the game averaging 6.4 made 3-pointers per game but drilled 11 of their 20 shots from deep. That included a 4-4 night from beyond the arc by forward Micah Peavy, a former Red Raider and one of the worst shooters in the Big 12.

It was a nice start to the game for Grant McCasland and his team. He saw his squad battle its way out to a 27-16 lead midway through the first half thanks to the early heroics of Pop Isaacs who had 10 of his 12 first-half points in the first 7:30 of the contest. Isaacs would end the night with 25 points and a career-high 9 assists, but it would not be enough.

Another first-half shooting slump would doom Tech as TCU would go on a 21-4 run to help them take a 40-36 lead into the intermission. Aside from some hot shooting by the home team, that advantage was built partly upon the back of seven first-half turnovers by the Red Raiders.

In the second half, Tech would not be able to take the lead back. TCU would grow its advantage to as many as 11 points and this time, there was no Red Raider comeback to be had.

Time and again, when Tech would make a charge, TCU would answer with huge buckets, usually a 3-pointer. Perhaps the biggest dagger of the evening came from Jameer Nelson Jr. who hit a deep three late in the shot clock to push TCU's lead to 79-70 with just under two minutes to play to put Tech in a hole that was too much to climb out of.

Texas Tech had its chances to pull out a second-straight road win but time and again, mistakes haunted McCasland's team. For the night, Tech would commit 13 turnovers, which isn't an egregious number but was four more than the Frogs. What's more, it seemed as if many of those turnovers came at the most inopportune of times.

Rebounding was also an issue as Tech was beaten on the glass 34-27. That included 12 offensive rebounds by TCU to just 4 by Tech.

Big picture, this loss isn't the end of the world for the Red Raiders. Tech concludes a tough stretch of four straight games against ranked opponents (with three of those games played away from Lubbock) with a 2-2 record.

Now, three of the next four games will take place at United Supermarkets Arena. That begins on Saturday with a home tilt with Cincinnati at 5 p.m.

Life in the Big 12 is going to hand out some lumps on the road and Tuesday was Tech's night to take one. The key will be for the Red Raiders to defend the home court over the next two weeks with games against UCF and Kansas also on the horizon in Lubbock.

Tuesday was a game that most didn't count on Tech winning. TCU is a tough matchup, especially at home, and the Red Raiders were playing with house money after already having secured two wins in their last three games. If the U.S.A. magic continues to hold and the Red Raiders can rattle off some wins at home in early February, then this team could still be a factor in the Big 12 race as the season nears March and that's all anyone could have asked for when the season began.