FORT WORTH — No.22 TCU ended No.9 Texas’ hopes of earning a share of the Big 12 title with a 75-73 win over the Longhorns on Wednesday night at Schollmaier Arena, atoning for an earlier loss to the Longhorns in Austin.
TCU guard Damion Baugh stole the ball from Texas off the opening tip and took it in for an easy layup to start the game. Baugh scored eight of the Horned Frogs’ first 12 points and had 14 of his 24 in the first half.
“I knew they were going to tip it, but I didn’t know what he was going to do with it when he caught it,” Baugh told reporters in a postgame press conference. “When I saw his back turned, I just went for the steal.”
It was a sloppy start on both sides as neither team could gain control of the ball as it bounced up and down the court.
TCU eventually settled it down and built a double-digit lead at the half, as it did during the first matchup in Austin.
Unlike the first meeting, TCU was able to maintain its aggressiveness in the second half and keep control of the game, thwarting each attempt at a comeback for Texas.
The Longhorns started pressuring TCU in the backcourt with just under six minutes remaining and quickly forced turnovers to trim a 10-point lead to five and get back into the game.
In the next minute, TCU answered with six points to stretch its lead back to eight.
Texas made one last run with 1:50 left. After Dylan Disu sank a pair of free throws, TCU forward JaKobe Coles turned the ball over near the sideline, allowing Texas to cut the lead to three at the 1:02 mark.
TCU withstood the furious rally as it converted on free throws, and forward Emanuel Miller slammed home a fast break dunk with 4.9 seconds left that kept TCU in front as Texas beat the buzzer with a three-pointer.
Baugh’s 24 points were game-high, and Miller added 20 for the Horned Frogs.
Texas guard Sir’Jabari Rice led four Longhorns in double figures with 16.
WHAT TO KNOW
— TCU now has 20 wins for the fifth consecutive season.
— The Horned Frogs can finish with an above-.500 record in conference play for the first time since 2001 with a win at Oklahoma on Saturday.
— Jamie Dixon has now won 18 games against top-25 teams as head coach at TCU.
— Texas needed a win to play for a share of the Big 12 title against No.3 Kansas on Saturday.
— Texas lost in Fort Worth for the first time in its last three trips and did not sweep the season series against TCU for the first time in four years.
BY THE NUMBERS
— TCU came out with a win despite Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Mike Miles, who averaged 18 points per game coming into the night, finishing with just one free throw and shooting 0-8 from the field.
— TCU committed 22 turnovers, while Texas only had 11. The Longhorns outscored the Horned Frogs 27-7 in points off turnovers.
— Dixon on the difference between Wednesday’s game and the first matchup against Texas: “We talked about this being not a pretty game just because we knew what they do and what we had to do, and we got it done with defense and rebounding. It’s good to win a game when not everybody played their best game … I think we defended better throughout and rebounded better throughout. I think that was the key. I thought that was big.”
— Texas head coach Rodney Terry on what his team has left to play for: “We’re still playing for something. We were playing for a Big 12 championship tonight to still be in a position to try to win a Big 12 championship at home. You’re playing for seeding right now. You play to put yourself in the best position right now for the big prize, and I think we have as good a team as any in the country that has a chance to win a national championship.”
No.22 TCU (20-10, 9-8 Big 12) plays its regular season finale at Oklahoma (14-16, 4-13) at 2 p.m. CST on Saturday. No.9 Texas (22-8, 11-6) hosts No.3 Kansas (25-5, 13-4) at 3 p.m. CST on Saturday.