No. 17 TCU men’s basketball loses a heartbreaker to No. 25 Iowa State

TCU’s front court Emanuel Miller and Eddie Lampkin Jr. embrace vs Iowa State on Jan. 7, 2023. (Photo courtesy of

By Sederick Oliver, Executive Editor of Image Magazine

No. 17 TCU men’s basketball (13-2, 2-1) came up short in a 69-67 loss to No. 25 Iowa State Saturday night at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena.

After winning the few last games in similar fashion, the Frogs were en route to staging their third-straight comeback victory, which would have marked the team’s 12th straight win.

Despite winning the last two games in dramatic fashion before yesterday’s defeat, junior guard Mike Miles Jr. understands that the team has to start the game with a sense of urgency.

“I honestly don’t know the reason, the last two we came back and won, and we almost got this one — you can’t win all of them playing that slow,” said Miles Jr.

The first half saw TCU’s defensive struggles rear its head as the team looked defenseless as the Cyclones shot 61% on 28 total field goal attempts.

While TCU made 11 field goals compared to Iowa State’s 17, the Frogs were able to get to the line early and often keeping the game within reach.

Fresh off of his career-high 33 point performance, Miles Jr’s contributions were minimal in the first half due to foul trouble. He picked up his second foul with 10 minutes to play in the half and finished with three points in the period.

Ever resilient, TCU showed resolve and was able to find offense from a collection of Horned Frogs led by senior guard Damion Baugh.

Baugh finished the game with 17 points, a team-high seven rebounds and five assists.

The Frogs trailed by six, 36-30 going into halftime.

“That’s the hole we dug ourselves in early,” said head coach Jamie Dixon.

“I thought we held it as good as we could with Mike [Miles Jr.] getting the two fouls, it obviously changed the game a bit, but I felt good down six.”

Like many games before, the Frogs were able to settle into the second half and play with an unmatched level of energy and effort on both ends of the court.

Few Big 12 teams or in the nation overall are as conditioned as TCU, and the Frogs take pride in running teams into oblivion.

In order to get out in transition to get those easy trademark TCU baskets, the Frogs had to force the Cyclones into taking tough, inefficient shots.

Sometimes it was a rebound that led to a coast-to-coast bucket.

Other times it was an outlet pass that resulted in a layup on the other end.

The nation’s leading team in transition scoring made their imprint on the game, outscoring Iowa State 19-4 in fast-break points.

Miles Jr. came alive in the second half, scoring 15 of his game-high 18 points in the period.

With 2:11 left to play, the Frogs trailed by 66-58 before sophomore forward JaKobe Coles hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to five.

Then came the avalanche.

Coles’ three sparked nine straight TCU points.

With the Cyclones flustered and reeling, Iowa State freshman guard Tamin Lipsey inexplicably fouled Miles Jr. on a 3-point attempt with 42 seconds left to play.

He made 2-of-3 from the line.

TCU now led 67-66.

After a string of excellent TCU defensive possessions, Iowa State senior guard Gabe Kalscheur took matters into his own hands.

Kalscheur made a tough step-back from well beyond the arc over the outstretched arms of Baugh to give his team the two point, 69-67 with 1.5 seconds left on the clock.

With no timeouts remaining, TCU was unable to advance the ball and lost in heartbreaking fashion.

Under normal circumstances, shooting 50% from the field and 47% from 3-point land would result in a TCU win, but the Frogs were unable to overcome going 16-of-28 from the charity stripe.

For a team that usually makes 70% of its free throws, converting only 57% on Saturday didn’t do the Frogs any favors. TCU also uncharacteristically allowed Iowa State to make 53% of its field goals, compared to the 40% opponents shoot on the season.

“It shows that we can play with anybody, we didn’t play our best game on defense or offense and we only lost by two,” said Miles Jr.

Up next

The Frogs look to get back to their winning ways as they head down to Austin on Wednesday to take on No. 6 Texas (13-2, 2-1) at the Moody Center.

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