Texas Christian Horned Frogs vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders Pick & Prediction JANUARY 30th 2024

Successful late-game execution is proving to be a necessary aspect of survival in the Big 12, as both No. 25 TCU and No. 15 Texas Tech demonstrated Saturday.

TCU emerged with a 105-102 triple-overtime victory at then-No. 15 Baylor, while Texas Tech also won a tight one on the road with an 85-84 decision at then-No. 11 Oklahoma.

The host Horned Frogs (15-5, 4-3 Big 12) and Red Raiders (16-3, 5-1) will meet for the first time this season Tuesday in Fort Worth, Texas.

“It’s January,” said TCU’s Emanuel Miller, who averages a team-high 16.8 points per game, “and we’re playing some of the highest level of college basketball you can see. Every possession truly matters. Literally every single detail leading up to this win is huge.”

That was evident through all three overtimes in the Horned Frogs’ come-from-behind win, as they executed when it mattered most.

Hot second-half shooting continued a trend of exceptional offensive output from TCU this season. In conference play, the Horned Frogs are shooting 47.1 percent from the field, and averaging 79.6 points per game.

Five players scored in double figures against Baylor, led by Jameer Nelson Jr. with 30 points.

“I keep saying we have good players,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon noted after the Baylor win. “We just have to use it to our advantage. I think the 10 (man rotation) has been a little frustrating for some of them, because they want to play more. We just have to accept it and use it as a positive. I think they’re really getting there.”

Texas Tech had a similar road experience at Oklahoma and improved its record to 11-1 since the beginning of December.

The Red Raiders have bounced back nicely after a 77-54 loss to Houston on Jan. 17, earning a pair of Top 25 wins over BYU and Oklahoma. Chance McMillian stepped up with a career-high 27-point effort against the Sooners.

“They put us on our heels, but thankfully for Chance and the belief of our team, we stayed in the fight,” Texas Tech coach Grant McCasland said. “Ultimately, I did think our ability to get some stops and get out in transition to open the game up and then Chance’s defense also gave us an edge.”

Overcoming a nine-point second-half deficit added to Texas Tech’s confidence heading into another pivotal road test at TCU. The Red Raiders are 2-2 in true road games this season.

Texas Tech is shooting 36.8 percent from 3-point range. Pop Isaacs averages a team-best 17.0 points per game and Joe Toussaint contributes 13.4 points per contest.

“We were playing at Houston, and I watched them come off the court,” McCasland said of his team’s response to adversity. “We were getting beat pretty good. I wanted to see who was walking off like, ‘This is so hard,’ and who was walking off like, ‘Let’s find a way to win.’ I told them that. These guys walk into the timeouts, no matter what happens, asking, ‘What are we going to do to win?’ It’s awesome.”

–Field Level Media

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