Expect plenty of fur to fly and defense to be on display when No. 10 Texas hosts No. 17 TCU on Wednesday in a Big 12 Conference game in Austin, Texas.
Both teams have won two of their first three games in the Big 12’s dual round-robin gauntlet.
The Longhorns (13-2, 2-1 Big 12) return home after a gritty 56-46 win at Oklahoma State on Saturday behind 12 points from Marcus Carr, 11 from Timmy Allen and a career-high tying 12 rebounds by Dillon Mitchell.
Texas won despite shooting just 31.5 percent from the floor. The Longhorns held Oklahoma State to only 30.4 percent shooting and forced the Cowboys into 18 turnovers.
Texas bounced back after a record-breaking loss at home on Jan. 3 to then-unranked Kansas State in which it allowed 116 points, its most ever in a Big 12 game and the most overall since a 128-125 Southwest Conference loss at Texas Tech on Feb. 20, 1994, in double overtime.
The win over stingy Oklahoma State came after Texas endured a withering defense-only practice in which even interim coach Rodney Terry got a little banged up.
“We won this game on Thursday, not today on Saturday,” Terry said after the win over Oklahoma State. “We won it back in Austin. You know, we came off a tough loss at home and we didn’t play very good defense in that ballgame and kind of got away from our identity.”
The Longhorns are 6-1 since Terry took the helm after coach Chris Beard was suspended on Dec. 12 when he was arrested on a felony domestic violence charge. Beard was fired on Thursday.
The Longhorns players were allowed to speak to the media on Monday for the first time since Beard’s suspension. They explained that the team has remained steadfast in its mission despite the change in the head coach’s seat.
“Nothing has changed in our goals or the team that goes out on the court and competes every game,” Texas forward Brock Cunningham said. “Every assistant we have was a head coach, so we know how this goes.”
The Horned Frogs (13-2, 2-1) head to Austin on the heels of a 69-67 overtime loss at home to then-No. 25 Iowa State on Saturday. TCU led by a point after Mike Miles Jr. hit two free throws with 23 seconds to play but fell when Iowa State’s Gabe Kalscheur hit a long 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds remaining.
Miles led the Horned Frogs with 18 points, 15 of them in the second half, while Damion Baugh added 17 in the setback, which snapped an 11-game winning streak, TCU’s longest since beginning the 2017-18 season with 12 straight wins.
The Horned Frogs fought back from nine points down with 3:49 to play to move in front on Miles’ free throws but just made too many mistakes, between the turnovers, losing the rebounding battle by five and missing 12 free throws.
“This game showed we can play with anybody,” Miles said afterward. “We didn’t play our best game on either defense or offense. We shot bad from the line, we had a lot of turnovers, and we still only lost by two. It shows how good of a team we are.”
TCU leads the nation’s in transition scoring and used that prowess to stay in the game, outscoring Iowa State 19-4 on fast-break points.
–Field Level Media