For the first time this season, the TCU Horned Frogs had their full roster available and you could immediately tell.
Damion Baugh returned from a six-game suspension to help lead the Horned Frogs (6-1) to an impressive 75-62 win over Providence (5-3) Wednesday night.
Emanuel Miller also returned to the lineup after missing the Emerald Coast Classic with a back injury. The two teams were evenly matched in the first half with the Horned Frogs needing a late 3 just before the buzzer to take a five-point lead into halftime.
The second half belonged to TCU as the Horned Frogs went on a 13-1 run to take a 51-34 lead with just under 15 minutes to go.
The best part about the run was how many different players got involved. Mike Miles Jr. scored two buckets, Baugh added another layup in transition. Miller jump-started the run with a mid-range jumper while Xavier Cork and Micah Peavy had putback layups.
It was a mixture of strong defense, rebounding and decision-making. All the aspects that head coach Jamie Dixon expected to see from his team that picked in the top-15 in the preseason.
Five different players scored in double figures for TCU led by Eddie Lampkin Jr.’s 16 points. Micah Peavy added 13.
It didn’t take long for senior guard Damion Baugh to make an impact in his first game of the season. After a turnover on Providence’s opening possession, Baugh came up with the loose ball, pushed the tempo and found a streaking Chuck O’Bannon Jr. for a transition dunk for TCU’s first basket of the game. With Baugh leading the way, the Horned Frogs eventually jumped out to a 11-2 lead.
Baugh picked up his first point on the year on a free throw and then added another bucket in the lane to make 14-10 early in the game. After Providence battled back to briefly take the lead with under five minutes remaining in the first half, Baugh nailed a 3-pointer from the corner. Just before the halftime buzzer, Baugh whipped a cross court pass to a wide open Chuck O’Bannon for a 3-pointer that gave TCU a 38-33 lead at halftime.
The senior stuffed the stat sheet in his return with 10 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals.
Lampkin’s breakout moment
TCU big man Eddie Lampkin Jr. hasn’t been able to build off his double-double performance against Arizona in last year’s NCAA Tournament until Wednesday night. Lampkin scored double figures for the first time this season and was a problem in the first half.
Lampkin has seven rebounds in the first half with six of them being on the offensive glass. Just before halftime he rebounded his own mid-range miss and then slammed home the putback to give TCU a 35-31 lead. The Horned Frogs didn’t need Lampkin to do much in the second half except continue to control the glass.
Lampkin finished with a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Less is more from 3
TCU’s shooting struggles have been well-documented this season, but it wasn’t an issue against the Friars. Part of that is because the Horned Frogs didn’t take many, but when they did it seemed like they all were going in. Through the first 33 minutes of the game TCU only attempted 11 shots from behind the arc and hit six of them.
Emanuel Miller knocked down one midway through the second half to make it 54-40. Then Chuck O’Bannon knocked down another with just under eight minutes remaining to make it 65-47. This where return of Baugh also helped the offense.
Providence’s strategy when Baugh or Miles were involved in ball screens was to trap to ballhandler to try and force a turnover. With two veteran guards, TCU took advantage of the blitzing defense to regularly find shooters wide open in the corner. TCU finished the night 6-of-12 from 3, while holding Providence to just 22% from behind the arc.