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TCU 67, Texas Tech 61: Frogs take Big 12 opener

Mike Miles eclipses 1,000 career points as the Horned Frogs rally in the second half to down the Red Raiders.

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

While much attention was focused on the TCU football team’s College Football Playoff Semifinal contest against Michigan, TCU men’s basketball also played on New Year’s Eve, tipping off the Big 12 Conference schedule with a home game against unranked Texas Tech. Despite trailing 37-26 at halftime, TCU rallied during the second half, attacking the basket and playing strong defense as the Horned Frogs upended the Red Raiders 67-61. Now ranked No. 17 nationally, TCU (12-1, 1-0 Big 12) will face No. 19 Baylor on Wednesday night.

Mike Miles led the scoring charge for the Horned Frogs, finishing with 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting while eclipsing 1,000 career points for his collegiate career. The Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year made key shots down the stretch, making a pair of field goals to help TCU take the lead late in the second half. Emanuel Miller and Damion Baugh were solid for the Horned Frogs as well, with Miller scoring 16 points while grabbing six rebounds and adding three steals. Baugh totaled 14 points with five assists and a team-leading four steals.

TCU held Texas Tech’s leading scorer, Kevin Obanor, to only six points on 2-of-7 shooting in the win. Pop Isaacs was the hot hand for the Red Raiders, finishing with 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting and 5-of-11 shooting from 3-point range. Texas Tech built an early lead and maintained its advantage throughout the first half, forcing the Horned Frogs into perimeter shots. TCU struggled from distance in the game, shooting only 14.3 percent (2-of-14) from 3-point land. The Horned Frogs adjusted after halftime, however, taking more drives to the rim and earning more free throws as a result. TCU went 15-for-20 from the charity stripe in the win, while the Red Raiders couldn’t hit their free throws, finishing just 9-for-18.

Eddie Lampkin recorded six points, eight rebounds and two steals for the Horned Frogs, who thrived on the defensive end with 22 forced turnovers in the game. While Texas Tech’s bench outscored TCU’s bench 15-8, the Horned Frogs allowed only two of the five Red Raider starters who average over 10 points per game to reach double figures. TCU held a 22-16 advantage in points off turnovers as well as a 21-14 advantage in fastbreak points. Trailing 37-26 at halftime, TCU opened the second half with an 11-0 run, scoring on back-to-back layups from Lampkin before Miles drew a foul on a 3-pointer, which led to three straight free throws. Miles then canned a triple from Baugh to make it a one-point game.

The Horned Frogs sealed the win with a 12-3 run over the final four minutes of regulation time, scoring nine consecutive points during that stretch to take a 64-58 lead with under two minutes to play. A run-out reverse slam from Miller iced the victory for TCU.