TCU basketball blows double-digit lead in 82-81 loss at No. 23 Texas Tech

With a chance to remain alive in the Big 12 title race, TCU squandered a big lead in a disappointing 82-81 loss at No. 23 Texas Tech Tuesday night.

After leading by 10 with 6:55 remaining, TCU found itself down 75-73 with 1:27 on the clock as the Horned Frogs’ offense struggled down the stretch. TCU missed 10 of its next 11 shots after taking the double- digit lead while the Red Raiders stormed back at the free-throw line and with well executed offensive possessions.

With 1:11 remaining TCU’s Micah Peavy had a chance to tie the game, but after missing both free throws teammate JaKobe Coles ripped the ball away from the Red Raiders and powered through for a put-back.

However, the Red Raiders immediately responded as Pop Isaacs finished a nice pass from Joe Toussaint while being fouled on a layup. Isaacs converted the three-point play with 39 seconds remaining. Peavy made it a one-point game as he made both free throws with 29 seconds left.

The Horned Frogs nearly forced a turnover on the inbound pass, but Isaacs wisely called a timeout with 22.4 seconds showing. The Red Raiders were able to get the ball in and avoid a steal as Toussaint knocked down two free throws, but Coles would answer back with a quick bucket and TCU trailed 80-79 with 14 seconds left.

But it was too little too late as Isaacs knocked down two more free throws and Jameer Nelson’s last second 3-point attempt fell well short.

While the defeat shouldn’t have much of an impact on the TCU’s NCAA Tournament resume, it does move the Horned Frogs down at least one seed in the Big 12 Tournament as TCU is now tied with BYU for sixth place in the conference.

Isaacs sinks TCU

This loss should sting TCU as the Horned Frogs did just about everything they set out to do and yet they still couldn’t come out with a win. TCU pounded Texas Tech on the glass, outrebounding the Red Raiders 49-36. The defense? More than adequate most of the night as Texas Tech was held below 40% shooting from the field and 27% from beyond the arc.

So how do you lose a game when so many things go your way? While the overall defensive numbers will look really good on the paper, TCU couldn’t string together stops when it needed to in the final seven minutes. The Red Raiders finished the game making six of their final eight attempts and Isaacs was a primary factor in TCU’s struggles defensively.

He scored 13 of his game-high 19 in the second half, including 11 in the final 5:52. While most of Isaacs’ scoring came at the free-throw line, it was because the Horned Frogs struggled to stay in front of him on his drives. Toussaint also deserves credit for making some crafty plays down the stretch. When it counted the most, the Red Raiders rose to the occasion while TCU let another marquee win slip away.

Mostafa’s moment as a Horned Frog

No player has bought in more to his role than Coastal Carolina transfer Essam Mostafa. Mostafa was a double- digit scorer at his previous stop and has averaged just 2.7 points this season with a smaller role.

But with Ernest Udeh out for Tuesday’s game against the Red Raiders, Mostafa had to step up in a big way to fill the void.

He delivered as he nearly matched his season-high with eight points in the first half. Mostafa got his points in a variety of ways, including scoring on a few smooth post moves and a nice reverse layup that gave TCU a 21-19 lead with 8:22 remaining in the first half. It was imperative that the Horned Frogs were able to capitalize on the absence of Texas Tech big man Warren Washington and Mostafa helped exploit the advantage as he hit his first four shots.

Mostafa was a big reason TCU was tied with Texas Tech at 38 at halftime. Mostafa opened the second half with another bucket inside to tie his season-high of 10 points. He finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.