It is tough to win any basketball game when the opponent takes significantly more shots.
The game was tied at halftime despite a rough start for OSU. Star guard Cade Cunningham sat nearly the entire first half with foul trouble but the Pokes navigated the non-Cunningham minutes well. TCU opened up a seven-point lead early in the second half but the Pokes made another run to pull even.
A Jaedon Ledee layup with 11:22 left put OSU in the danger zone as the Frogs took a 58-49 lead. OSU made its third run of the game to tie it at 64 with 5:15 left. The Cowboys lead would grow only to three in the final minutes, but had a chance to take the final shot with a tie game and just seconds remaining.
Instead, Cunningham attacked the basket and missed a driving layup with under 10 seconds left. Taryn Todd corralled the rebound for TCU and rifled it ahead to Ledee who finished a layup through a controversial blocking foul on Avery Anderson. Ledee hit the free throw and Cunningham misfired on a half-court shot that would have sent the game to overtime.
The team stats tell the story. Oklahoma State never really looked like it wanted to win this game when it had ample opportunities to take control. The Pokes took 32 free throws to TCU’s 21, had less turnovers with 11 compared to 13 for the Frogs, and had less fouls called with 19 compared to 22 foul calls on TCU.
The only category TCU wound up on the positive end of was the one mentioned at the top of the story: 61 shots attempted compared to 48 for OSU. It’s impressive TCU only won by three despite taking 13 more shots.
RJ Nembhard had a fantastic night for TCU, leading the game in scoring with 20 points to go with seven assists and five boards. Freshman standout Mike Miles finished with 18 and five assists. Oklahoma State struggled to handle TCU’s size once again as Chuck O’Bannon and Kevin Samuel combined for 29 points and 13 rebounds.
Cunningham led the Cowboys with 19 points, all coming in the second half. Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe had another big night with 17 points and 10 boards. Rondel Walker and Bryce Williams led the charge for the bench with 16 and 11 points respectively.
The Cowboys continue to show they have the tools to be a good basketball team but can’t always seem to put together a complete game when they need it. No. 6 Texas visits Stillwater on Saturday and tip-off is at 2 pm.