TCU basketball is reeling toward the finish line.
The Horned Frogs suffered another loss to a ranked team as No. 6 West Virginia pulled away for a 76-67 victory on Thursday night at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.
TCU (12-12, 5-10 Big 12) scored a season-low 18 points in the first half en route to dropping to 0-9 all-time in Morgantown. The Frogs are also now 0-8 vs. ranked opponents this season and have lost five of their last six.
This is a team that opened the week as a possible NIT team. The silver lining for TCU was showing some life in the second half. The Frogs made it interesting by pulling to within single digits, but never got to within one possession on a night they shot 39% from the field (which was better than WVU’s 34%).
Forward Jaedon LeDee had a career night for TCU, finishing with 20 points and eight rebounds. Freshman guard Mike Miles had 15 points, while junior center Kevin Samuel had 12 points and eight rebounds.
West Virginia (18-7, 11-5), meanwhile, has won four of its last five and is gearing up for a stretch run. WVU swept the season series against TCU and now owns the all-time series record 16-3. Forward Jalen Bridges finished with a game-high 22 points, including 4 of 6 from deep, while fellow forward Derek Culver had 17 points and eight rebounds.
The Mountaineers controlled the game from the start. TCU’s offense had an early stretch where it went eight-plus minutes without making a basket from the field in the first half.
WVU capitalized by building a 22-7 lead early on and a 32-18 lead at the break. The 18 points were a season-low for the Frogs in a half.
They shot just 18% from the field, including 1 of 7 from 3-point range. They had twice as many turnovers (eight) as made baskets (four) in the opening half.
Yes, it was ugly on the offensive end and not much better on the defensive end. The Mountaineers dominated inside, outscoring the Frogs 12-4 in the paint. They also won the rebounding battle 23-17.
TCU showed life in the second half, opening on an 8-2 run to pull within 36-26. LeDee had a dominant stretch in the second half, scoring six straight points for TCU. Eventually, the Frogs got within single digits 49-41 following a 3-pointer by RJ Nembhard with just over 10 minutes left.
WVU answered that with a 3-pointer by Miles McBride.
TCU stayed in it, getting as close as 55-48 with just under six minutes left, but simply couldn’t overcome its dreadful first half.
TCU closes out its regular season against No. 15 Texas on Sunday at Schollmaier Arena. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, the conference’s premium streaming service through ESPN.
TCU has already locked down the No. 8-seed for the Big 12 tournament and will face Kansas State in the first round Wednesday at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.