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TCU 83, Texas Tech 82: Coles’ World

JaKobe Coles’ FTs in final seconds give the Frogs a season sweep of the Red Raiders for first time in the Big 12

TCU v Texas Tech
Jakobe Coles’ made 2 clutch FTs in the final seconds to knock off Texas Tech
Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

TCU Men’s Basketball earned it’s first ever Big 12 regular-season sweep of the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday, escaping Lubbock with an 83-82 victory. For several games TCU’s biggest weakness has been free throw shooting; over the previous five games (four Frog losses), TCU was just 51-90 (56.7%) from the charity stripe. Today against Texas Tech, the Frogs shot 11-13 (84.6%), including JaKobe Coles’ clutch game-tying and game-winning free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining to give TCU its first win in Lubbock since January 2015 as De’Vion Harmon’s heave at the buzzer missed the target.

The game opened with a slow start to the Frogs, unable to connect on anything from long range and showing early troubles in the post with Eddie Lampkin not playing. Texas Tech sprinted to a quick lead, connecting on three-pointers and working 2nd-chance opportunities. But eventually the game settled into a groove for TCU in the first half: shots began falling and the Frogs turned 12 TTU turnovers into 15 points. Mike Miles dropped in a layup just before the half ended, giving TCU a 9 point advantage at the break.

TCU opened the 2nd half as sluggish as the first, allowing a 5-0 run from the Red Raiders as the Frogs missed their first five shots of the half. The 2nd half also featured a barrage of foul calls against the Horned Frogs, as TTU was put into the Bonus just six minutes into the period, with Xavier Cork, JaKobe Coles, and Chuck O’Bannon each picking up a third personal foul early in the half. Texas Tech lit fire from the field in the second half, shooting over 60% and nailing 4-7 3FGs, good for an impressive 1.47 points per possession. TCU was able to maintain a narrow lead despite the hot shooting from TTU, with a solid 50% from the field and from 3 while winning the rebound battle. As TCU slowly saw its lead dwindle, the Red Raiders took its first lead of the half with under two minutes via a Jaylon Tyson 3-ball. After a quick Miles layup, Tech re-took the lead again with just 12 seconds remaining as De’Vion Harmon took a steal from Miles to the house for the layup and the 1-point advantage. Being that Texas Tech had barely been whistled for any fouls in the 2nd half, it had a few to give in order to burn some clock and force TCU in-bounds plays. However Jamie Dixon took a timeout and drew up the perfect opportunity: the inbounds got to Miller on the block who sent a bounce pass to a cutting JaKobe Coles in the lane. Coles gets hacked on his way to the basket , steps up to the line with ice in his veins and knocks both shots down to give TCU the win.

Coles wasn’t just a star at the line in the final seconds, he was one of four Frogs in double digits, scoring 15 points with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, a block, and a steal. Mike Miles was doing superstar things again, leading the Frogs with 24 points. Xavier Cork was a perfect 5-5 from the field in just 13 minutes of action, starting in place of the injured Lampkin. Emanuel Miller put up a 14-12 double double, including a rim-rocking put-back slam

The loss is damaging to Texas Tech’s slim chances of an NCAA Tournament at-large bid, dropping the Red Raiders to 16-13 on the season, 5-11 in Big 12 play with a trip to Phog Allen Fieldhouse for the #3 Kansas Jayhawks on Tuesday in what is now a must-win game for TTU.

For TCU, this is a major Quad 1 road win, providing a big boost to the resume on a chaotic day of college basketball that saw many top teams drop games. The Horned Frogs improved to 19-10 on the season, 8-8 in conference play to close February. TCU will open March in Schollmaier Arena on Wednesday night against the #8 Texas Longhorns.