SALT LAKE CITY (AP)Emanuel Miller had 21 points and seven rebounds and No. 20 TCU beat Utah 75-71 on Wednesday night at the Utah Jazz’s Vivint Arena.
Mike Miles added 18 points for the Horned Frogs (10-1), and center Eddie Lampkin had 10 rebounds in his return from a back injury.
TCU imposed its will around the basket, especially on transition plays.
The Horned Frogs scored 46 points in the paint and finished with 16 fastbreak points. It helped TCU shoot 44.6% from the field against a Utah team that held opponents to 35% shooting coming into the game.
”That’s where our improvement is this year,” TCU coach Jaime Dixon said. ”We’re forcing more turnovers, getting out in transition. We’re one of the best transition teams in the country, actually, as far as transition baskets, so that was key for us.”
Gabe Madsen made seven 3-pointers and scored 26 points – both career highs – for Utah (9-4). Marco Anthony added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Branden Carlson had 14 points and eight rebounds. The Utes have lost two in a row.
”We had a great opportunity for a Quad 1 win,” Utah coach Craig Smith said. ”Just couldn’t quite figure it out. But we’ll keep growing. We’ll keep growing and we’ll keep getting better.”
The Horned Frogs scored baskets on four straight possessions for a 27-17 lead late in the first half. Miller ignited a 14-2 go-ahead run with back-to-back baskets.
Utah erased the double-digit deficit early in the second half and tied it at 54 on Anthony’s layup. Anthony missed a free throw that would have given the Utes a one-point lead. Miller and Miles subsequently combined to score baskets on four straight possessions to put TCU back in front. A 3-pointer from Damion Baugh gave the Horned Frogs a 68-59 lead with 3:56 left.
”We saw what they did to Arizona, and we knew we couldn’t come in here and underestimate them,” Miller said. ”As a team collectively, we did a great job of executing.”
BACK IN ACTION
Lampkin played 22 minutes after sitting out TCU’s 88-43 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Sunday. The sophomore averaged 7.3 rebounds in his first nine contests – ranking fifth in the Big 12 entering the week. His presence in the middle helped the Horned Frogs keep pace with Utah on the glass.
The Utes edged TCU 34-30 in total rebounds, but Lampkin finished with double-digit rebounds for the third time this season.
”Eddie’s an X-factor,” Miller said. ”No matter what, he’s always going to come in, play hard, and be Eddie.
THE BIG PICTURE
TCU: The Horned Frogs attacked the rim early and often with great success. 61% of TCU’s total points came in the paint.
Utah: Turnover troubles undermined offensive efficiency and kept the Utes a step behind for 40 minutes. The Horned Frogs ultimately scored 23 points off 19 Utah turnovers.
TCU: Hosts Central Arkansas on Wednesday, Dec. 28th.
Utah: At California on Dec. 29th.
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