TCU survives late rally to take down No. 9 Texas

TCU almost had a strong case of deja vu after seeing a big lead against Texas evaporate. This time, however, the Horned Frogs finished the job with a 75-73 victory over No. 9 Texas.

Once again, TCU found themselves with a huge lead over a top-10 Texas team. The Horned Frogs led by an astonishing 18 points and had a 13-point lead going into halftime on January 11 in Austin. On Wednesday, TCU led by as many as 16 and held a 12-point lead at halftime.

And just like in Austin, the Longhorns used a rally in the second half to quickly clear a big deficit. After holding on to the huge lead in the first half, Texas trailed only 71-68 with 59.5 seconds left when Tyrese Hunter leaked a 3-pointer on TCU’s 22nd turnover.

Mike Miles Jr. almost iced the game with a driving layup with less than 30 seconds left, but his shot went over. Chuck O’Bannon was in the right place to eventually secure the offensive rebound and get the ball into Damion Baugh’s hands.

Baugh made both free throws, and after a Texas bucket, Emanuel Miller iced the game with a powerful slam dunk. TCU students stormed the court a few seconds later.

Baugh was masterful with his best game of the season with 24 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Miller produced his second straight double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Missing miles

TCU security guard Mike Miles Jr. is one of the top scorers in the country, but the Longhorns had a rock solid game plan to make him a non-factor. Texas made it clear early on that it didn’t want Miles to control the game by throwing multiple defenders like Marcus Carr, Sir’Jabari Rice, and Morris to Miles.

Two defenders shadowed Miles’ full field after a Texas bucket and at half field, the Longhorns guarded Miles by face, essentially trying to make it a 4-on-4 game. For the first 30 minutes of the game, Texas’ game plan was a resounding success. Miles attempted just four shots and missed them all, and had just one assist as he was hunted by the defense all night.

Miles didn’t score his first run until just over 10 minutes into the game when he made a free hit after Texas coach Rodney Terry was called for a technical foul. Miles was also lost on the defensive rotation that led to the wide open 3 for Hunter in the last minute.

Miles finished with no field goals. The game at Mississippi State on January 28, which he left early due to a knee injury, is not included. Miles has missed a field goal in only two games during his TCU career.

Déjà vu

The first half of Wednesday night’s battle was eerily similar to the January 11 showdown, with TCU swinging out behind Damion Baugh. Baugh was the catalyst for the TCU attack as the Longhorns sold out to close Miles. Texas guarded Miles throughout the half, at one point using two players to follow him full court.

Texas managed to shut down Miles, but the defense failed to explain Baugh. Baugh scored the opening goal of the game, quickly knocking down two three-pointers, including one from the corner that had to be released at lightning speed.

Baugh scored or assisted on 13 of TCU’s first 21 points. As Texas came close, 25-22, with less than nine minutes left in the half, TCU used a 9-2 run to take back control of the game. Baugh scored or assisted on every bucket on the run. TCU led by as many as 16 and took a 44-32 halftime lead.

How close was it to the start on January 11? The Horned Frogs led by as many as 18 and had a 42-29 lead at halftime.

We all know how that ended, but this time TCU sealed the deal.

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