TCU’s defense came through on Saturday night, as the Frogs stifled Texas Tech in the second half to come back and win, 69-66, in front of a sellout crowd.
The win pushed TCU’s record to 18-9 (7-8) on the season, and might be the one Frog fans can look back on as the one that put them in the NCAA Tournament.
“I think we have proven enough,” Emanuel Miller said after the win, “The rankings don’t show that but we know collectively as a group that we can compete with anyone.”
Miller scored 11 points and pulled down four rebounds on the night, and had big defensive moments down the stretch to help TCU get the upset.
Mike Miles led the Frogs with 26 points, his highest point total since he suffered his wrist injury against Baylor.
“It felt good,” Miles said of his performance. “I’m not going to have a game like this every night but I’m glad it happened tonight.”
TCU needed every bucket they could get after finding themselves trailing 41-33 at the break. Both offenses started slow after halftime, as the defenses found a rhythm.
The Frogs saw Tech’s lead balloon to 11, 46-35, at the 17:26 mark but that’s as far away as Tech would get. Red Raiders head coach Mark Adams knew that TCU had it in them to come back.
“In my gut, I felt like if we couldn’t separate when we were up six, eight, nine, 10 points — it was going to be a game,” Adams said. “We went back-and-forth at that margin for a while but they just started getting closer and closer and got some momentum and confidence. And we could never get it turned around.”
TCU kept chipping away and chipping away, cutting the deficit to 48-44 at the 12:34 mark thanks to a steal and fast break basket from Chuck O’Bannon. Tech pushed the lead back to eight thanks to four straight points from Bryson Williams.
Williams was excellent for Texas Tech on the night, scoring 21 points and missing just one shot.
As the second half clock dipped under ten minutes remaining, Xavier Cork made a basket in the paint to once again cut TCU’s deficit to four. Cork, who gave TCU 15+ minutes of intensity, was 3-3 from the floor on the night.
TCU got a stop on the ensuing Tech possession, bringing TCU fans to their feet, but a Miles turnover led to a Davion Warren breakaway dunk. The Tech fans in the stands, of which there were many, responded, seeming to try and will the Red Raiders to a victory.
TCU would close the game on a 19-10 run over the final 8:21 of the game, but they didn’t take the lead until Francisco Farabello faked off a defender and calmly drilled a three from the right wing with 3:47 remaining.
That shot kicked off seven straight possessions where the lead changed while both fan bases lit up Schollmaier with their screams.
The back and forth ended with a beautiful dish from Miles to Cork, who threw it down and showed a rare display of emotion has he ran back down the court.
Texas Tech didn’t score over the last 1:40 of game time, while TCU gave them every opportunity to tie or reclaim the lead.
Mike Miles and Micah Peavy combined to go just 2-6 from the free throw line in the final minute, leading to Texas Tech having one more chance to win with 0.5 seconds left on the clock.
A long inbounds pass found its way to Williams, who caught it, turned, and shot the ball. He made the basket, a three-pointer from about 27 feet away, but time had expired before he got the shot away.
The refs conferred to make sure the clock had run down before confirming TCU won the contest.
TCU students had already spilled on to the court at that point and begun celebrating the big win with the team.
TCU now has back to back games against Kansas, with the first one coming at Schollmaier this Tuesday at 7pm.
Watch the full postgame press conference right here: