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  • Eric Martinez

Horned Frogs pulls out nail-biting victory in home opener to open up their season debut

The expectation for TCU's basketball team has been extremely optimistic and positive in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. The Horned Frogs rank number 14 in the country according to the pre-season rankings. Head Coach Jamie Dixon has his team prepared to have a successful season with their non-conference schedule and legitimately fight for the Big 12 conference title. Pre-season Naismith Player of the year candidate and potential All-American Mike Miles Jr. returns for his junior year to lead the Horned Frogs into the 2022-2023 season.

TCU Basketball opened the season Monday night against University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff from the S.W.A.C. conference. The Golden Lions returned three upper classmen in their starting lineups and seniors Chris Greene and Shaun Doss Jr. came prepared to play for game one of the seasons. The Horned Frogs started the game very sluggish with several turnovers in the first half. TCU allowed 46 total points to their own 35 points in the first half as well. The Golden Lions have to be given credit, as the efficiency on offense in the first half was noticeable. Several possessions, the TCU Horned Frogs seemed lost defensively by allowing unguarded open three point looks that the Gold Lions took advantage of. At one point in the first half, UAPB led the TCU Horned Frogs by 20 points.

Jamie Dixon reminded TCU of how defense is what fuels the offense for the Horned Frogs. It was a tale of two halves as TCU came out attacking the basket and drawing several fouls in the second half to get to the free throw line. TCU ended up shooting 27 of 38 attempts from the free throw line and outrebounded UAPB 39-35. A major spark came from TCU senior forward Emanuel Miller that scored 19 points in 28 minutes and snagged key rebounds towards the end of the game. UAPB Golden Lions stayed in the game by knocking down shots and seniors Chris Greene ended the night scoring 13 points with shooting 4 for 7 from the three-point line, and senior guard Shaun Doss Jr. showed an elite range from three-point line shooting 4 for 5 and scored 25 points in 39 minutes.

The keys to the second half comeback for TCU was the aggressive play calling in the second half and taking advantage of their free throws. TCU had contributions from the entire lineup including Chuck O’Bannon that had 11 points and 7 rebounds and showed he has ice in his veins by knocking down two late free throws to give TCU a 73-70 lead with 19 seconds left, and preseason All-American Mike Miles Jr. ended with 15 points and 6 rebounds and put a dagger in the game when he scored a critical three point shot to give the Horned Frogs the lead 71-70 with 51 seconds left. TCU guard Micah Peavy scored 10 points off the bench and fan favorite, Eddie Lampkin Jr. was a defensive presence and had 2 key rebounds. UAPB still had a chance to win the game as Chuck O’Bannon of TCU missed a one and one with 8 seconds left, but UAPB ended up missing the game winning jumper by Trejon Ware to give TCU its first win of the season 73-72.

TCU Horned Frogs will host Lamar University on Friday evening and will need to improve on their three-point efficiency and keep the turnover margin low. The Horned Frogs shot 19% from three (4 of 21) and totaled 13 turnovers. Role players stepped up to contribute in the second half and coach Jamie Dixon believed the game against UAPB was good for their club. “It was very clear how well prepared, how well Arkansas Pine Bluff played. We want to give them credit.”

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