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TCU 75, Utah 71: Frogs hold off Utes

Emanuel Miller led TCU with 21 points and seven rebounds as the Horned Frogs scored a solid road win in Salt Lake City.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at Utah Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The TCU men’s basketball team traveled to Salt Lake City for a tough nonconference matchup against Utah on Wednesday, emerging with a 75-71 win behind 21 points and seven rebounds from Emanuel Miller. Mike Miles scored 18 points with four assists and three rebounds, while Eddie Lampkin grabbed 10 rebounds and Chuck O’Bannon added 10 points. No. 20 TCU (10-1) will close out its nonconference slate with a home game against Central Arkansas on Wednesday, Dec. 28 before tipping off the Big 12 schedule.

TCU took the lead midway through the first half and while the Horned Frogs were unable to balloon their advantage far beyond double digits, they controlled the first half and the game from start to finish. Reseve forward JaKobe Coles came through down the stretch for TCU, finishing 6-for-6 from the free-throw line toward the end of the second half to help the Horned Frogs hold off a late Utah surge. Gabe Madsen carried the load for the Utes (9-4), scoring a game-high 26 points while shooting 7-for-15 from 3-point range.

TCU kept a 5-to-8 point advantage throughout most of the game, forcing 19 Utah turnovers and outscoring the Utes 23-10 off turnovers. The Horned Frogs were slightly outrebounded and outshot, however, with Utah edging TCU 34-30 in the rebounding category while shooting 46.3 percent and 34.8 percent from 3-point range. The Horned Frogs went 44.6 percent from the field and 31.2 percent from 3-point range. Both teams struggled from the free-throw line, with Utah going 13-for-21 (61.9 percent) and TCU shooting 12-for-19 (63.2 percent). TCU outpaced the Utes 16-4 on fastbreak points in the win on Wednesday.

TCU led 35-29 at halftime, but Utah managed to tie the score midway through the second half. The Horned Frogs leaned on their defense to keep their lead, however, forcing steals and turning those turnovers into easy layups on the other end of the floor. TCU recorded 12 steals in the game, with three players notching at least two in the win. A pair of 3-pointers from Miller and Damion Baugh late in the second half allowed the Horned Frogs take a 9-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation. Baugh finished with nine points, while Micah Peavy and Xavier Cork combined to score six points off the bench for TCU.