Short-handed No. 11 TCU men’s basketball falls to Mississippi State in overtime

Guard Shahada Wells dribbles past defenders vs Mississippi State on Jan. 28, 2023. (Photo courtesy of

By Sederick Oliver, Executive Editor, Image Magazine

No. 11 TCU men’s basketball (16-5, 5-3) lost an overtime heartbreaker 81-74 to Mississippi State Saturday afternoon at Starkville, Mississippi, inside of Humphrey Coliseum.

With the win, the Bulldogs were able to snap a five-game losing streak.

When it rains, it pours

After losing sophomore big man Eddie Lampkin Jr. to an ankle injury against Kansas, TCU also went into yesterday’s matchup without junior guard Rondel Walker due to a non-COVID illness.

Junior forward Xavier Cork once again replaced Lampkin Jr. in the lineup after a stellar performance against Oklahoma.

Though the Frogs started the game sluggish offensively, there wasn’t a great concern about their ability to find their rhythm and settle into the game.

This was until Preseason Big-12 Player of the Year Mike Miles went down with an injury and didn’t return.

Four minutes into the game, the junior guard collapsed, holding his knee in agony.

Despite being in enemy territory, there was a collective hush inside of Humphrey Coliseum.

Considering how jarring the injury looked initially, Miles Jr. is fortunate that the diagnosis is a knee hyperextension.

Now down three scholarship players, TCU had to fight its way back into the game and slow down Bulldogs redshirt senior Tolu Smith, who standing at 6 feet 11 inches caused many mismatches down low.

Due to TCU’s lack of size, Smith was a matchup nightmare and took full advantage, finishing the game with 27 points on 11-of-13 shooting, 13 boards, and five assists.

The Frogs found themselves down 23-11, with 7:14 left to play in the opening half.

Ever resilient, TCU continued to scrap its way into the game and chip at the lead, culminating in a four-point swing by redshirt junior Shahada Wells.

Down six (31-25) at the break, TCU entered the second half with an improved defensive intensity that allowed them to get into transition and attack the rim.

Senior guard Damion Baugh led the attack with 19 points as he seemingly hit big shot after big shot.

A three-pointer by redshirt senior Chuck O’Bannon Jr. gave TCU its first lead of the game, 38-37, at the 15:31 mark.

From there on, both teams continued to exchange scoring runs and the lead, resulting in a climax that couldn’t be settled in regulation.

Tied at 66, the Frogs started overtime strong with a Wells layup off of the opening tip, but struggled to get defensive stops shortly after.

Mississippi State answered with 8 straight points, highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers by junior guard Shakeel Moore.

A three by O’Bannon Jr. cut the deficit from six to three with 1:17 left to play, but MSU proved too much for TCU to handle closing the game on a 7-3 run.

Despite their best efforts, the Frogs were undermanned and couldn’t quite overcome their lack of available bodies and poor shooting (39.7% from the field and 22% from three).

Baugh played nearly all 45 minutes and finished with a team-high 19 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Senior forward Emanuel Miller contributed with 13 points, scoring all in the second half and seven boards. Wells and sophomore forward JaKobe Coles added 12 points and O’Bannon rounded the double-figure scoring for the Frogs with 10.

Up next

TCU returns to Fort Worth to host West Virginia (13-8, 2-6) on Tuesday at Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena.

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