TCU Falls To West Virginia; 74-69

TCU fell to 9-4 overall and 0-1 in Big 12 play with a tough 74-69 loss to West Virginia.

Ft. Worth, Texas – The TCU men's basketball program opened up Big 12 play on Saturday against West Virginia and despite being within four points with over a minute remaining, the Frogs fell 74-69 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

The loss drops the Frogs to 9-4 overall and 0-1 in conference play while West Virginia improved to 9-5 and 1-0 in Big 12 play. The loss ended the Frogs five-game winning streak.

The Mountaineers used a strong rebounding effort on the night to come out on top; out-rebounding TCU 38-30 which included 17 offensive rebounds. TCU managed just 8 offensive rebounds.

"The game was probably decided on the glass; anytime you give a team of that caliber 17 offensive rebounds it's going to hurt you," TCU head coach Trent Johnson said.

The Frogs were led by Amric Fields, who had a season-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting in just his second game back from a hand injury. TCU finished 9-of-19 on three point attempts and hit their first seven attempts on the night. TCU shot better from the field than West Virginia, hitting 47.2% from the field compared to just 40.7% for the Mountaineers.

Again, it came down to second chance points for the Mountaineers which proved to be the difference according to Fields.

"We just man-handled on the boards, we've got to learn how to rebound out of the zone," Fields said. "I think it just came down to rebounding; we got beat all night long on the glass. We played well and they played well. If we get a couple more rebounds here and there it's a different story I think."

Johnson agreed and noted that had the Frogs' allowed just half of West Virginia's efforts on the glass, it would've been the difference.

"There's nothing they didn't do defensively that hurt us; we hurt ourselves by not rebounding the ball," he said. "We had plenty of open shots. Bottom line is they got 38 rebounds, 17 of them were offensive so you just cut that in half and give them 8; that's a different deal."

The Frogs were also plagued with foul trouble late in the second half. Kyan Anderson, who scored 12 points, fouled out and Charles Hill, who came off the bench, also fouled out. Karviar Shepherd also faced foul problems, getting four which hampered the Frogs inside on offense and defense.

"Obviously we got into some foul trouble and had to play some guys more minutes than we needed to. With the exception of some crucial free throws we missed, I thought it was a pretty good basketball game and I thought our guys were consistent in their effort of trying to execute the game plan. It's unfortunate that some shots and free throws didn't go down for us in a crucial time."

Missing free throws were a big problem for the Frogs down the stretch as they finished hitting only 10-of-17.

TCU opened the game with an impressive scoring onslaught; hitting 7-of-7 three pointers and building a 28-23 lead. Freshman point guard Brandon Parrish finished with a career-high four three-pointers on the night.

"My teammates found me when I was open and I just do what I usually do and shoot the ball with confidence and it went in for me," he said. "It was really a team effort; I've got to thank my teammates for everything that I get."

Harris gave West Virginia a lift off the bench
West Virginia was led on the night by sophomore Eron Harris, who poured in 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting. He also led the team with 4 three-pointers. Juwan Staten added 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting.

The two teams traded baskets for most of the first half with West Virginia holding a 42-39 lead at the half after a 10-4 Mountaineer run.

The Frogs cut the lead to one in the second half, trailing 56-55 with 8:32 remaining.

The two teams went back and forth on the next several possessions with West Virginia clinging to a 67-62 lead with 3:24 remaining. Brandon Parrish pulled the Frogs within two after his fourth three-pointer of the night brought the Frogs within 67-65.

West Virginia answered back to make the score 69-65 on a bucket from Staten. The sophomore point guard would finish with the Mountaineers final nine points on the night.

TCU will be on the court again on January 7th as they host Kansas State. Tip-off is set for 7:00pm.

"We've just got to continue to work, the league is so good from top to bottom; every night is going to be a close game," Fields said.

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