‘We got to play better’: No. 14 TCU men’s basketball upset by West Virginia


TCU guards Mike Miles Jr. and Shahada Wells embrace vs West Virginia on Jan. 18, 2023. (Photo courtesy of GoFrogs.com)

By Sederick Oliver, Executive Editor, Image Magazine

No. 14 TCU men’s basketball (14-4, 3-3) came up short, 74-65 against West Virginia on Wednesday night in Morgantown.

West Virginia entered the contest 0-5 in Big 12 conference play, while the Frogs were coming off one of the biggest wins of the season, an inspired performance against No. 11 Kansas State.

Instead of starting the game with the same electricity that propelled them to the win over Kansas Sate, the Frogs’ offense fell flat.

The offensive struggles were exacerbated by the early foul trouble from the team’s backcourt within the first 10 minutes of action.

Junior guard Mike Miles Jr. and senior guard Damion Baugh both picked up two fouls and the team scrambled to score without its two primary ball handlers.

At one point TCU had to fight its way back from an 18-point deficit in the first half, after shooting only 39% from the field and 55% from the charity stripe.

Throughout the season, TCU has shown the ability to play against tough defenses. However, West Virginia presented a different level of physicality that disrupted the Frogs.

“Certainly the most physical, aggressive team we’ve played this year,” said head coach Jamie Dixon.

The Frogs were also thin in their frontcourt depth after sophomore big man Eddie Lampkin Jr. fouled out after only 18 minutes of play.

West Virginia were able to force the Frogs to commit a season-high 19 turnovers, seven more than their season average.

The Mountaineers went into halftime with a 39-24 lead, shooting 54% from the floor.

The second half presented a much better showing from the Frogs as the team seemed to finally settle into the game.

As the team’s leading scorers, Miles Jr. and senior forward Emanuel Miller started knocking down shots which opened up the rest of the floor and the offense overall.

TCU was now rolling and on a 21-8 scoring run.

Miles Jr. led the game with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting on the way to moving into 26th place on the all-time TCU scoring list with 1,102 points.

Baugh and Miller joined Miles Jr. in double-figure scoring with 13 points apiece.

The Frogs took a 17-point deficit with 11:23 to play down to two, 62-60, with 5:14 remaining.

TCU’s efficiency was a vast improvement from the first half, shooting 13-of-19 (68.4 percent) in the second half as the team found higher-quality looks and exploited paint opportunities.

Despite their best efforts, the extent of the Frogs’ run would end there as the Mountaineers proceeded to close the game on a 12-5 run en route to their first Big 12 Conference win.

Although TCU was able to claw its way back into the game, the team was never able to play its style and execute what made it the 14th-ranked team in college basketball.

TCU was called for a season-high 24 fouls, only scored 8 fast-break points and was beaten on the offensive glass, 14-4 and out rebounded 31-18 overall.

The Frogs will remain on the road and head to Kansas to face the No. 2 Jayhawks (16-2) on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Tip-off is at noon on CBS.