No. 15 TCU holds off West Virginia 76-72, stays within a game of Texas atop Big 12

Jan 31, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs guard Damion Baugh (10) scores a three-point basket against West Virginia Mountaineers forward Tre Mitchell (3) during the first half at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

No. 15 TCU holds off West Virginia 76-72, stays within a game of Texas atop Big 12

No. 15 TCU 76, West Virginia 72  

No. 15 TCU defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 76-72 to earn revenge after Jan. 18’s loss on the road. With the win, the Horned Frogs keep pace with Iowa State, Kansas, and Kansas State for second place in the Big 12 at 6-3. TCU led the entire night, but West Virginia never let the Horned Frogs pull ahead by more than 12 in a game that was competitive throughout. 

JaKobe Coles led the Horned Frogs with 17 points off the bench, including making 5 of 6 free throws. Shahada Wells, making his first start in more than a month, filled in nicely for Mike Miles Jr. with 16 points. Damion Baugh added 16 points and 10 assists of his own, and forward Xavier Cork scored 15. 

Senior Erik Stevenson led West Virginia with 17 points despite making just 6 of his 17 shots on the night. 

TCU entered Tuesday night’s game versus West Virginia expected to be missing two key contributors in Mike Miles Jr. (knee) and Eddie Lampkin Jr. (ankle), but the Horned Frogs were also missing many of the fans that would normally create their home court advantage. With freezing rain making travel difficult and slowing the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex nearly to a halt, plenty of empty, purple seats greeted the Horned Frogs and Mountaineers. 

The Mountaineers, just 2-6 in Big 12 play, entered the night looking for a season sweep of the Horned Frogs after their 74-65 win in Morgantown back on Jan. 18. They’d manage to trade buckets and stay tight with the Frogs in the early going, but the biggest surprise of the night occurred as the under-16 media timeout arrived. 

Despite having been reportedly ruled out with a high ankle sprain, 6-11 sophomore center Eddie Lampkin Jr, the top offensive rebounder in the Big 12, checked into the game for the Horned Frogs with 14:38 left in the first half. Lampkin scored his first bucket of the game less than a minute later, putting the Frogs ahead 14-11. 

TCU, knowing that it was missing important offensive production without Miles and with limited minutes from Lampkin, led with defense in the early going. The Horned Frogs held West Virginia to just 1-for-5 on 3-pointers over the game’s first 12 minutes while forcing four turnovers. TCU’s lead ballooned to 22-15 at the first half’s under-8 media timeout on Xavier Cork’s posterizing dunk, a play that sent the sparse Schollmaier Arena crowd into a frenzy. 

The Horned Frogs extended their lead to 28-19 at its largest in the first half, but the Mountaineers did not go away. West Virginia used three pointers by Seth Wilson and Joe Toussaint to pull within two, but JaKobe Coles layup at the halftime buzzer sent the Frogs into the break with a 36-32 advantage. TCU made 51.5% of its first half shots and out rebounded West Virginia 18-14. 

Guard Damion Baugh got the Horned Frogs off to a good start in the second half with two quick layups, and West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins called timeout less than three minutes after halftime ended with TCU ahead 42-36. Still, TCU matched its largest lead of the night when Shahada Wells’ 3-pointer made it 47-38 moments later at the under-16 media timeout, and Wells’ dunk extended the advantage to 11 shortly thereafter. 

West Virginia pulled back within six, but Xavier Cork’s dunk with eight minutes left made him 5-for-5 from the field on the night and extended TCU’s lead to 55-47 at the second-to-last media timeout. 

TCU extended its lead to as many as 12 when Damion Baugh made two free throws with 4:32 left, but the Mountaineers kept finding ways to hang around. After five straight points by Erik Stevenson, West Virginia trimmed the deficit to 67-61 with 3:13 to play. 

Erik Stevenson made a pair of free throws with 37 seconds left to make it 70-65, giving the West Virginia senior guard 15 points on the night – and after TCU’s JaKobe Coles made just one of two free throws, Joe Toussaint’s layup made a four-point game with 27 seconds left. 

After two more made free throws by JaKobe Coles made it 73-67, a questionable foul call on Shahada Wells sent West Virginia’s Joe Toussaint to the free throw line with 20 seconds left. Toussaint made just one, leaving the Mountaineers down five – and the Horned Frogs handled business at the free throw line the rest of the way. Erik Stevenson made two free throws with one-tenth of a second left, but TCU held on for a 76-72 home win over West Virginia. 

The Horned Frogs finished the night with just two made 3-pointers, but shot 51.7% overall while only turning the basketball over seven times. TCU recorded assists on 20 of its 30 made baskets.

Sophomore Eddie Lampkin Jr, nursing a high ankle sprain, finished the night with a surprising two points, two assists, and a rebound. 

TCU will next head to Stillwater, Oklahoma for a battle with Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon. 

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *