Louisiana Lafayette TCU Basketball

TCU's Kevin Samuel (21) and RJ Nembhard (22) celebrate a basket during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Louisiana-Lafayette in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Air Force put itself in position for a rare win in a Big 12 arena, but too many scoreless spells and a disappointing night from Lavelle Scottie in his hometown were too much to overcome in a 65-54 loss at TCU on Monday. The Falcons cut a 14-point deficit to one point in the second half, but couldn’t hit the shot to tie or take the lead and the Horned Frogs pulled away in the final minutes.

Rough offensive night for the Falcons

Air Force endured 5 minutes, 34 seconds without scoring early in the first half. TCU later went on a 13-4 run. Then, after cutting the deficit to 52-51 with 7:45 remaining, the Falcons didn’t score for 5:06. They were plagued by turnovers, committing 19. They were outscored 32-22 in the paint and 14-3 on fast-break points.

Lavelle Scottie struggles in hometown

Air Force’s preseason first-team all-Mountain West pick Lavelle Scottie struggled in his native Fort Worth, Texas. Scottie picked up two quick fouls, which limited him to 25 minutes. He made 2 of 10 shots and had six turnovers with one assist. It wasn’t all bad, though. He had a team-high five rebounds, one block and scored seven points, five of which came in a four-minute spurt midway through the second half that helped Air Force close the gap and get back into the game.

Big man too much

This was Air Force’s first look this season at an elite big man. TCU’s Kevin Samuel scored 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting and added 11 rebounds. The 6-foot-11 sophomore from Barbuda averaged 7.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks as a freshman and attended pre-draft camps in testing the NBA waters.

Air Force stats

Ryan Swan led Air Force with nine points and five assists. A.J. Walker, Caleb Morris and Sid Tomes each had eight points. Morris provided the night’s highlight for the Falcons with a 3-pointer from near midcourt at the halftime buzzer. The Falcons shot 42.6 from the field and 6 of 20 from 3-point range. They held the Horned Frogs to 42.4 percent. Air Force’s bench outscored TCU’s 17-4.

Drought continues

Air Force hasn’t beaten a Big 12 opponent since topping Colorado and Texas Tech in 2006. The Falcons hadn’t played a team from the conference since visiting Texas Tech in 2014, a game it dropped 63-62.

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