Frogs can’t overcome slow start, fall to Kansas State

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TCU just can’t figure out how to start games lately.

The Frogs dug themselves a big hole early and couldn’t climb out as they lost to Kansas State 63-49 at Schollmaier Arena on Tuesday night.

“Another horrendous start,” head coach Trent Johnson said. “Disappointed in our lack of energy in the early going.”

TCU shot only 33 percent, including 25 percent in the first half, in the double-digit defeat.

The Frogs have shot less than 40 percent in six of their last nine contests.

“We’re all on different pages,” sophomore Chauncey Collins said. “When we are on the same page we look good, but when we aren’t we look like we did tonight.”

TCU (11-15, 2-11) missed eight of its first nine shots to fall behind 16-5 in the first five minutes.

Back-to-back three pointers from JD Miller and Malique Trent cut the Wildcat lead to five. But, Kansas State (15-11,4-9) would respond with two consecutive its of their own to balloon the Frogs deficit back to 11.

Trent led the way for TCU with 11 points in the contest.

“I felt like we didn’t compete to the best of our abilities and the outcome showed it,” Collins said.

Unlike the Oklahoma State win last week, the Frogs couldn’t stage a second half comeback.

TCU would trim the Wildcats 13-point halftime lead to nine with just less than fourteen minutes to go. That’s as close as the Frogs would get, as K-State would go on a 10-2 run to stretch the lead to 17.

The Frogs struggled from behind the three-point line hitting only 3-of-16 shots behind the arc in the loss.

“It has to do with us settling for ill-advised looks,” Johnson said of the three-point struggles.

Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber said his team is at its best when defending the three well.

“We did it against Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago and we’ve been pretty solid overall,” Weber said. “At one point we were number one in the nation at defending the three. I was worried about Collins and (Brandon) Parrish, but I think Barry’s (Brown) length bothered them.”

The Frogs also struggled in the paint from the outset of the game, largely due to Chris Washburn getting into foul trouble. Washburn committed two fouls in the first three minutes and finished the night scoreless in 16 minutes.

“It hurt us a lot because he has active hands,” Collins said of Washburn’s absence. “There’s no doubt we got down and plus he talks. Him not being out there really hurt us.”

And Washburn wasn’t the only Frog big man to miss a majority of action in the loss.

Karviar Shepherd left the game in the first half after hitting the deck hard on the offensive end.

Johnson said Shepherd’s status was “not good” after the game.

TCU is back in action on Saturday when they hit the road to take on 13th ranked Iowa State. Tip off in Ames is set for 6:30 and will be televised on ESPNU. Brian Estridge and John Denton will have the radio duties on the TCU IMG Sports Network.

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