No. 18 TCU men’s basketball victorious in comeback against Texas Tech

Guard Mike Miles Jr. celebrates vs Texas Tech on Dec. 31, 2022. (Photo courtesy of

By Sederick Oliver, Executive Editor, Image Magazine

“Its important to show the world that we’re not a team to be taken lightly,” said senior forward Emanuel Miller.

In the team’s most impressive victory of the season, No. 18 TCU men’s basketball (12-1, 1-0) overcame a 13-point deficit to defeat Texas Tech, 67-61 on Saturday afternoon in Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena.

TCU not only managed to win its Big 12 Conference opener, but the team also extended its winning streak to double-digits (10).

In a contest between two of the nation’s top defensive teams, timely offensive possessions were going to be the deciding factor in who came out victorious.

In the first half, it was the Red Raiders who were able to hit shots while the Frogs struggled, resulting in a 37-26 lead going into halftime.

First half woes

A slow shooting start hampered TCU’s offense, limiting its ability to set up its half-court defense.

Texas Tech took full advantage, shooting 47% from the field in the first half and hitting four three-pointers.

The Frogs had trouble keeping up with their defensive assignments, rotating, and contesting shots due to the ball movement from the Red Raiders.

“I gave them an earful at halftime, we were a step slow defensively and didn’t see it coming,” said head coach Jamie Dixon.

In addition to the holes in the defense, TCU couldn’t score the ball, evident by the team’s 26 first-half point total.

The Frogs shot just 31% from the field and went 1-for-8 from 3-point land.

Known for its nation-leading fast-break scoring, TCU was unable to get out in transition to generate easy baskets.

The Frogs were held to only 3 fast break points, despite causing 10 Texas Tech turnovers.

Part of this was due to the Red Raiders scoring, forcing the Frogs to inbound pass, not allowing them to get out and run.

Their first-half defense bothered TCU, effectively neutralizing their offensive gameplay.

Uncharacteristically, the Frogs also had to deal with excessive cheers for the road team because of the abundance of Texas Tech fans that traveled to Schollmaier Arena with the team.

The fans created an almost neutral atmosphere despite being a TCU home game.

Comeback kids

In what was the gutsiest performance of the season, TCU began to claw its way back into the game during the second half.

“We knew we could comeback into the game, we’ve comeback against a lot of teams,” said Miles Jr. “We knew this second-half wasn’t going to be any different.”

In what later became a back-and-forth contest, TCU initiated its first comeback by scoring the first 10 points of the second half bringing them within one point (37-36).

The Red Raiders fought off the Frogs behind consecutive baskets from freshman guard Pop Isaacs, who led his team in scoring with 17 points. The score was now 53-44 with 7:09 left to play.

Then Damion Baugh happened.

In a herculean effort, the senior guard scored 8 straight points to once again bring the Frogs within one.

Showcasing its nation-leading transition scoring, TCU scored 18 of its 21 fast-break points in the second half.

The most important of those fast-break points came with 3:37 remaining, when junior guard Mike Miles Jr. scored on a layup that gave the Frogs a 59-58 advantage, its first led since three minutes into the game.

A lead the team would not relinquish.

TCU forced Texas Tech into a committing a season-high 23 turnovers. Eight of those turnovers came over a six-minute period late in the game setting up a 12-3 TCU run to close out the victory.

The Frogs caused Texas Tech to shoot just 36% from the field in the second half, down from the 46% the team shot in the first half.

“We just had to get back on defense – in the first half we weren’t, we were leaving guys and not matching up,” said Miles Jr.

This improvement on defense ignited TCU’s offense, allowing them to play with a reinvigorated confidence.

“We’re confident in ourselves and the whole message was go out there and make plays,” said Miles Jr.

This confidence propelled Miles Jr. to have quite a night, as he finished with a game-high 23 points and became the 39th player in TCU history to reach 1,000 career points.

The play of the game occurred when Miles Jr. fought through contact and scored through traffic.

Miles Jr. was joined by Miller and Baugh in double-figure scoring with 16 and 14 points, respectively.

No. 18 TCU will now take its 10-game winning streak to Waco as the team takes on No. 12 Baylor on Jan. 4 inside of the Ferrell Center.

Tip-off is at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.