That was just about the last scene that Jim Christian and his TCU team thought they would see as they left Moody Coliseum.
SMU head coach Matt Doherty said it was the best crowd that they have had in Moody Coliseum since a game vs. Memphis two or three years ago.
TCU had beaten SMU three straight times in the “DFW Duel.”
According to head coach Jim Christian, it all came down to the first five minutes and the last two minutes.
“We probably played as unintelligent basketball as you can play in the last two minutes of the game,” Christian said. “We switched the hand off the entire game. You don’t switch it, three point shot.”
“We come down and I do not have any idea what Hank was thinking when he ran in on a free throw and it would have tied the game. We have never gone over that. Never practiced that. Don’t know what that was.”
“Then we don’t block out on a free throw when its a three point game. We just did some dumb things late in the game,” Christian said.
Christian is spot on. The Frogs played unintelligent basketball down the stretch which allowed an inferior basketball team to beat them.
With 35 seconds to play, J.R. Cadot knocked down a free throw to tie the game. The free throw was wiped off on a lane violation called on senior point guard Hank Thorns.
Seven seconds later, SMU broke a TCU trap and found a cutting Aliaksei Patsevich who hit a layup and was fouled to put SMU up three points 63-60.
Patsevich missed his free thrown attempt after the layup, but got his own rebound and was fouled again.
Given a second chance, Patsevich delivered and put SMU up by five with 26 seconds to play.
From there, TCU got no closer.
Leading the Frogs in scoring was J R Cadot with 14. Cadot also pitched in nine rebounds. Amric Fields, Garlon Green, and Hank Thorns were also in double figures for TCU who shot just 38 percent in the second half.
Craig Williams did not play tonight for TCU after injuring his tailbone as he fell down the steps in his apartment.
“We missed the couple of inside buckets that [Craig] normally [gives] us,” Christian said.
The Frogs had an opportunity tonight to win their 11th out of conference game for the first time since 2000-2001.
Fortunately for TCU however, the loss does not count against their more important conference record. With a home game vs. Colorado State on Saturday, the Frogs have a chance to avenge the double overtime loss that the Frogs suffered at the hands of the Rams in Fort Collins.
Robert Nyakundi, a product of Arlington Bowie high school, led SMU with 17 points.
Jim Christian was at a loss for words in explaining one of his teams’ toughest losses.
“In the first half, we didn’t play hard which let them get in a good rhythm offensively, so it disregarded whether we made shots or not. It let the get in a good rhythm and that’s not how you need to play on the road to win,” Christian said.
The crowd...played no factor in tonight’s game according to Christian.
“If it was the first game, I’d say the crowd may have gotten to some guys. It’s the 23rd game of the year...” Christian said. “We played at New Mexico in front of 18,000. We played in front of a completely sold out game at San Diego State, the game before this one.”
Christian said he thought freshman Kyan Anderson was not as aggressive as he had been in recent games. The TCU starting backcourt combined for eight turnovers, a rarity for TCU this season.
TCU will return to action this weekend when Colorado State comes to Daniel Meyer Coliseum.