By Jamie Plunkett
Frogs Today staff writer
FORT WORTH — TCU blew an 18-point lead Wednesday against Texas, but refused to allow that to bleed over into Saturday’s game against Kansas State.
The Horned Frogs once again built an 18-point lead, but this time they held on to beat Kansas State 82-68 to snap a two-game losing skid.
A big reason for the win was the 20 turnovers TCU forced. The Frogs turned those into 26 points as they stifled Kansas State for the majority of the game. Coach Jamie Dixon was pleased with TCU’s defensive effort, after criticizing it earlier in the week.
“I thought we sustained defensively the entire game, and that is something we’ve got to continue to do,” Dixon said. “It’s not easy to do. We’re playing against very good teams. This is the best league in the country, and it’s not even close.”
Mike Miles Jr. recorded his first career double-double, notching 13 points and 11 assists with only one turnover. Prior to Saturday, Miles’ career-high for assists was just seven. He eclipsed that in the first half against the Wildcats, recording eight assists as they tried to take his scoring away from the No. 17 Frogs.
“I just go in and try to let everything come to me, “Miles said. “If I’m making shots that’s what I’m going to do, if I’m not I’m going to pass. I saw our wings making shots early, so you know, you’ve got to do something else to affect the game.”
Miles has seen a variety of double teams throughout his career, and this season he’s learning to make teams pay for that level of attention. His ability to manipulate Kansas State’s defense led to good looks in the paint for Eddie Lampkin Jr. and Emanuel Miller early on. Lampkin responded well, scoring 13 first-half points to lead all scorers.
Lampkin finished with 17 points and six rebounds, earning praise from Kansas State coach Jerome Tang after the game.
“I’ve known Eddie since he was an eighth grader,” Tang said. “He’s always just been a fun person to be around. I’m so proud of him, of what he’s done with his body, developed with his game, and the leader that he’s becoming. He’s not fun to compete against, but he is fun to watch.”
Meanwhile, Miller finished as TCU’s leading scorer for the second consecutive game, scoring 23 points while pulling down eight rebounds on the day. Miller now has 44 points in his last two outings, and is averaging 16 points in Big 12 play.
TCU (14-3, 3-2) was without guard Micah Peavy for the second consecutive game with a back injury. There’s currently no timetable for his return to the team. Peavy underwent a scan Friday and met again with team doctors Saturday morning.
Dixon said after Wednesday’s loss that TCU needed to “deal with this mentally on Thursday” before moving on to the next game. After the win Saturday, he spoke more about what the team did to prepare for No. 11 Kansas State (15-2, 4-1).
“[Thursday] was a rest day, a mental day,” Dixon said. “We talked about things and we put it out on the floor. … You’re going to lose in this league, it’s about how you respond.”
TCU will now try to carry this winning momentum into back-to-back road games. The Frogs travel to West Virginia on Wednesday before heading to face Kansas next Saturday.
“Those are two good teams,” Miles said. “We know we can beat any team, but we’ve got to play how we know we can play. Play defense, get out in transition and play together, and everything else is going to take care of itself.”
Jamie Plunkett, firstname.lastname@example.org