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Northwestern State 64, TCU 63: Brutal

The Horned Frogs continued to struggle, conceding a bad loss at home without Mike Miles and Damion Baugh.

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

Playing without staring guards Mike Miles (injury) and Damion Baugh (suspension), TCU’s men’s basketball team continued to struggle on Monday, blowing a double-digit lead in the second half and ultimately losing 64-63 against Northwestern State in what will likely drop the Horned Frogs from the top-25 rankings next week. TCU once again suffered from the perimeter, going 2-for-21 from 3-point range and shooting 35.6 percent from the field.

Micah Peavy scored 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting for the Horned Frogs, who played without Miles after the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year injured his ankle during TCU’s recent win against Lamar. The Horned Frogs leaned on forward Chuck O’Bannon, who totaled 12 points but shot just 3-for-14 and 1-for-7 from beyond the arc in the loss. Eddie Lampkin grabbed 11 rebounds, but scored only five points on 1-of-3 shooting in his return to the starting lineup.

Much like the team’s first two games of the season, TCU failed to create separation early in the game, trading baskets back and forth with Northwestern State, who only trailed 31-29 at halftime. The Horned Frogs did receive a boost off the bench from Jakobe Coles, who finished with a season-best eight points on 4-of-7 shooting while adding six rebounds.

TCU’s bench as a whole fared well in the game, outscoring the Northwestern State bench 26-6 and outrebounding the Demons 13-7. Freshman PJ Haggerty made his collegiate debut on Monday, totaling six points and two rebounds off the bench for the Horned Frogs. TCU led by as many as 12 points, 49-37, during the second half. Behind guards Jamonta Black and Damarcus Sharp, who combined for 44 points on 17-for-32 shooting, Northwestern State came all the way back and tied the score at 61-61 before a jump shot from Sharp with 1:14 remaining gave the Demons the late lead. Black went 7-for-13 from 3-point range.

TCU’s offense has been abysmal from the field to start the season, shooting 39.6 percent overall, 69.6 percent from the free-throw line and 18.9 percent from 3-point range. The defense, meanwhile, has allowed at least one player from the opposing team to score 20 points in each of the first three games. Fortunately for the Horned Frogs, Miles should make his return soon and Baugh will also be back after serving the remaining three games of his recently announced six-game suspension from the NCAA. Nevertheless, this loss will be one that could potentially doom the Horned Frogs as the 2022-23 season moves forward.