Seniors Baugh, Miller lead No. 22 TCU in 75-73 win over No. 9 Texas

Mar 1, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs forward Emanuel Miller (2) drives to the basket as Texas Longhorns forward Christian Bishop (32) defends during the first half at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Seniors Baugh, Miller lead No. 22 TCU in 75-73 win over No. 9 Texas

No. 22 TCU 75, No. 9 Texas 73 

No. 22 TCU earned a season split with No. 9 Texas after Wednesday night’s 75-73 win at home in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs (20-10, 9-8 Big 12) built a 16-point lead in the first half and held their ground as the Longhorns rallied in the second half. TCU led Wednesday night’s game from start to finish, but survived a scare in the final moments. 

Senior Damion Baugh led the way for TCU with 24 points and nine assists, while senior Emanuel Miller poured in a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Sir’Jabari Rice scored a team-high 16 points for Texas while Tyrese Hunter scored 15.

The Horned Frogs’ triumph gave their four seniors – Baugh, Miller, Shahada Wells, and Chuck O’Bannon Jr. – a win in their final home game at Schollmaier Arena. Mike Miles Jr., while not a senior, likely played his final game for TCU at home as well given the likelihood that he departs for the NBA Draft. 

TCU’s win ensured that the Horned Frogs will avoid having to play on the first day of the Big 12 Tournament next week in Kansas City. For Texas (22-8, 11-6 Big 12), the loss ensures the Longhorns can no longer earn a share of the conference title Saturday against No. 3 Kansas. 

TCU, donning purple uniforms at home to commemorate senior night, started the game with a steal and layup by Damion Baugh to electrify the home crowd in the opening seconds. The 22nd-ranked Horned Frogs put Texas on its heels from the outset, forcing two turnovers with defensive pressure before Tyrese Hunter broke the seal with a 3-pointer for the Horns. TCU seemingly beat Texas to every loose ball in the opening minutes, and led 12-5 at the game’s first media timeout. 

The Horned Frogs extended their lead with their physicality, out-rebounding the Longhorns 14-2 to start the game while forging ahead 21-13. 

Both teams shot the basketball exceptionally well from deep in the early going, each making four of their first seven 3-pointers. But because of the Frogs’ rebounding advantage, they created more opportunities around the rim – and with just over 6 minutes to go in the first half, TCU grabbed its first double digit advantage at 32-22. The Horned Frogs’ offense was running exceptionally smoothly – of their first 14 made baskets, 12 of them followed TCU assists. 

Forward Eddie Lampkin Jr.’s offensive rebound and putback layup with 2:46 to play gave the Horned Frogs a 20-3 advantage on the glass, and extended TCU’s game-high lead to 42-28. 

At the half, TCU led 44-32 thanks in part to an excellent showing by guard Damion Baugh. Baugh finished the first half with 14 points, six assists, three rebounds, and three steals to lead his team, while Sir’Jabari Rice led the way for the Longhorns with 10 points off the bench. TCU out-rebounded Texas 23-8 in the opening 20 minutes, and shot 62.1% from the floor because it created so many high-percentage looks around the rim. 

While Jamie Dixon’s team had to feel good about leading by as many as 16 in the opening period, Jan. 14’s loss in Austin still echoed in the minds of the Frogs. That game, TCU led by as many as 13 in the first half before the Longhorns sprinted by for a 79-75 win. 

Quietly, Texas used an 8-0 run that spanned the final moments of the first half and the opening sequence of the second half to pull back within eight points at 44-36. But after two Damion Baugh free throws and a tough finish through contact for a 3-point play by Emanuel Miller, the Horned Frogs’ lead quickly ballooned back to 13. 

Turnovers were an issue on both sides early in the second half. Seven minutes after the break, Texas had outscored TCU just 8-5 in the second half after a series of ugly possessions on both sides. 

A 10-2 run, catalyzed by defense, helped Texas battle its way back into the game – and after Arterio Morris drilled a 3-pointer with 11:53 to go, TCU’s lead was just 51-46 at the under-12 media timeout. 

Unfortunately for Longhorns, they’d struggle to get much closer. At the 7:35 mark, TCU’s lead was 60-50 after holding the Longhorns scoreless on three consecutive possessions. The Frogs’ lead would oscillate between six and 12 points as the game entered its final stanza, as TCU time and time again refused to give ground. Texas pulled within 65-60 at the four-minute mark, but TCU’s defense stood tall on multiple occasions to maintain its two-possession lead. 

Tyrese Hunter would eventually help Texas pull within a possession, draining his second 3-pointer of the night with 59 seconds left to make it 71-68. 

Mike Miles Jr. missed a layup that could have re-extended the Frogs’ lead with 27 seconds left, but Chuck O’Bannon Jr. pulled down TCU’s 15th offensive rebound of the night to force Texas into fouling. Damion Baugh went to the free throw line and made two huge free throws to put the Horned Frogs up 73-68 with 19 seconds remaining. 

Sir’Jabari Rice converted a 3-pointer for the Longhorns at the buzzer, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap. TCU won its 20th game of the season, 75-73, and guaranteed that it would finish .500 or better in Big 12 play for the first time in school history. 

TCU will travel to Norman to take on Oklahoma in its season finale on Saturday, while Texas hosts No. 3 Kansas to close out the regular season Big 12 schedule.

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