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TCU 77, #19 LSU 68: Frogs Tame Tigers

TCU got back in the win column with a huge victory on Saturday morning.

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

TCU defeated the #19 team in the country on Saturday morning, beating LSU 77-68 as the opening contest in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Frogs shot close to 50% from the floor against the Tigers, who coming into the day held the top spot for best defense in the nation.

The Frogs were paced by Mike Miles and Chuck O’Bannon, both of whom scored 19 points and had huge moments in the second half. Miles also contributed eight rebounds and six assists in his most complete performance in over two weeks.

Miles has been dealing with a wrist injury that he said still feels sore after games, but is continuing to improve.

Damion Baugh also contributed in a big way, adding 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists. The Memphis transfer had huge moments defensively as well, as he continues to take on more and more responsibility as the consistent no. 2 guy on the team.

Afterward, coach Jamie Dixon noted that Miles and Baugh have taken on about as much as they can, and for this team to continue improving others need to start consistently taking steps forward.

This team has the ability to do that, unlike teams in the past, what with Micah Peavy, Chuck O’Bannon, and Emanuel Miller all capable of having big nights.

TCU beat LSU on the glass 40-36, and turned the ball over just six times in the second half as LSU desperately tried to claw their way back.

In fact, it was one of TCU’s most impressive performances of the season when it comes to turnovers, with the Frogs just turning it over 13 times. LSU averages over 18 forced turnovers per contest, good for sixth in the nation.

Meanwhile the Tigers shot just 36.9% from the floor as a team and committed 22 fouls, a sign of TCU’s solid defense as well as the Frogs’ aggression offensively.

From the start, TCU looked in control offensively. Emanuel Miller hit two early jump shots as did Miles, who looked more in control and aggressive than he has at any point in the past two weeks. Miles’ two quick jumpers from the free throw line put TCU up 10-8 at the 15:39 mark of the first half.

LSU responded, pulling out to leads of 17-15, and 23-20, before the Frogs ended the first half on an extended 18-6 run over the last 5:53 of the first half.

With TCU maintaining a 10-ish point lead in the second half, Chuck O’Bannon found what TCU had been looking for for a handful of games: three point shooting.

O’Bannon, who scored 16 of his points in the second half, went on a personal 9-0 run, hitting three consecutive three-point shots from the left wing, pushing TCU’s lead to 50-34 and forcing LSU to call timeout.

LSU responded in a big way out of the timeout, going on a massive 15-2 run to cut TCU’s lead to 52-49 with 11:22 remaining in the contest. The Frogs of past seasons might have folded, fallen behind, and potentially lost the game. This iteration of TCU basketball did not.

TCU punched back. A three from Farabello pushed the Frogs’ lead back to six, and incredible defensive effort kept LSU from ever tying or reclaiming a lead.

As LSU was doing everything in their power to rip the lead away from TCU, Mike Miles took over offensively. With 5:25 left in the game and TCU leading 65-62, the sophomore guard scored eight straight points for the Frogs. His final points of the game were two made free throws, giving TCU a 73-66 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the game.

The Frogs closed out the final two minutes with more tough defense, holding LSU without a made basket over the final 2:54 of the game.

The Frogs have a quick turnaround now as they head on the road to face Oklahoma on Monday night at 8pm.