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TCU 73, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 72: Escape

Phew! Frogs claw back from 20-point deficit to survive on opening night

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Texas Christian
Mike Miles’ final minute go-ahead 3-pointer pushed the Frogs to the win
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The #14 TCU Horned Frogs entered its season opener with much fanfare and the weight of heightened expectations looked on its way to collapsing the season immediately. TCU trailed by as many as 20 points in the first half to Arkansas-Pine Bluff, a bottom-ten KenPom team. Although the Frogs climbed out of that steep deficit, they still trailed as the clock ticked under one minute before Mike Miles drained a transition three to give the Frogs the lead it would hold to escape with a win.

The Frogs were playing without Damion Baugh who is still in process of appealing an indefinite suspension from the NCAA, and TCU desperately missed him Monday night, as perimeter shooting, playmaking, and distribution were all lacking, especially in the first half. TCU finished just 4-11 on three-pointers, had 6 shots blocked, and committed 13 turnovers. Thankfully TCU got to the Free Throw line with frequency and converted at an improved rate, after ranking 310th in the country in FT% last season. The Frogs shot 38 free throws, making 27

On an off night for most Frogs, Emanuel Miller stepped up with 19 points and 6 rebounds. While Mike Miles certainly didn’t have his best night, big players make big plays in big moments. When TCU needed a moment, Miles delivered

The clutch 3 put the Frogs ahead, and the ensuing Golden Lions possession ended in a shot clock violation. UAPB fouled Chuck O’Bannon on the in-bounds play and he made both free throws to put the Frogs up 3 with 19 seconds remaining. Lions guard Kylen Milton drove for a quick lay in to bring the TCU lead back to one point. O’Bannon was again fouled on the entry pass with 8 seconds in regulation, only this time missing the front end of the 1-and-1, allowing UAPB a final chance at a game-winner - a contested shot over Shahada Wells that bounced harmlessly off the back of the rim and Schollmaier Arena breathed a sigh of relief

Next for Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-1, 0-0 SWAC): The Golden Lions next D1 contest is vs. the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, OK on Friday November 11 at 7:00 PM on ESPN+

Next for TCU (1-0, 0-0 Big 12): hosting Lamar at Schollmaier Arena on Friday November 11 at 7:00 PM on ESPN+