Texas falls to TCU for first time since 1995

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Junior guard Isaiah Taylor dribbles around a Texas A&M-Corpus Christi defender on Nov. 21 in Austin.

Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

FORT WORTH — Isaiah Taylor and the Longhorns are going to want to have this one back.

Down by one with seven seconds left, the junior guard tried a fadeaway shot over two defenders, but the ball hit off the side of the backboard and was tipped out as the clocked ticked down to zero.

Texas fell 58-57 to TCU for the first time since 1995 — back in the Southwest Conference days — and lost its best chance at a road win in the Big 12.

“I tried to make something happen,” Taylor said. “That was the game.”

The game started with a rare oddity. TCU (9-6, 1-2 Big 12) shot one free throw before the ball was tipped after Texas (9-6, 1-2 Big 12) was assessed a technical foul for listing senior guard Demarcus Holland as a starter. Holland was not with the team after attending his grandmother’s funeral.

The Longhorns moved past that with a 6-2 start to the ballgame, but it would prove costly in the end.

The Horned Frogs came back, finding success down low to the tune of 18 points in the paint in the first half. TCU eventually built a 10-point lead with under eight minutes to go in the half.

Texas, however, closed the half strong. Senior guard Javan Felix scored six-straight points as the Longhorns finished the half on a 16-8 run to cut the deficit to 34-32 at the break.

Texas returned to the “Havoc” offense to open up the second half, pressing TCU into mistakes. The pressure resulted in two turnovers, an easy layup and a 10-2 Longhorn run to take a 42-36 lead.

But then the offense turned stagnant. Both teams went scoreless for almost four minutes before they traded two 3-pointers each. Texas held on to a slim lead, but TCU went on an 8-2 run to take its first lead since the start of the half.

A jumper by TCU junior forward Chris Washburn, who finished the game with 14 points, gave the Horned Frogs a 58-57 lead. Despite four missed TCU free throws, Texas missed four close shots at the end to seal the loss.

“I thought we got a little bit stagnant against the zone,” head coach Shaka Smart said. “Obviously the open shots we got, we didn’t make.”

Texas got more production down low, scoring 40 points in the paint, but couldn’t hit anything beyond the arc. The Longhorns were just 3-of-21 from deep.

“When you go on the road, your margin of error is smaller to begin with,” Smart said. “When you shoot the ball poorly, it’s even smaller.”

The loss snaps 11-straight wins for Texas over TCU, but does even more damage to the Longhorns’ NCAA tournament hopes. The Horned Frogs came into the game 8-6 and had won just four of its prior 38 Big 12 games.

The road for Texas only gets harder as the Longhorns host No. 13 Iowa State on Tuesday night at 8 p.m.