Behind a balanced and efficient scoring effort combined with suffocating defense, TCU basketball got back on track with a 73-55 blowout of Texas A&M in the Lone Star Showdown at Dickies Arena on Saturday.
“We definitely made a statement with this game, because people were saying our defense isn’t that good,” guard Mike Miles said. “This game, we wanted to show everyone that our defense is just as good as our offense.”
Led by guard R.J. Nembhard, the Frogs shot an efficient 52% from the field as a team, dishing out 22 assists along the way.
Nembhard finished 6-for-10 from the field himself, finishing with game-highs in points (16) and assists (9).
On defense, TCU forced 20 turnovers, holding Texas A&M to just 38% shooting (4-for-17 from three). The 55 points scored were by far a season-low for the Aggies (the previous low was 72).
The win moves the Frogs to 5-2 on the season, ending their two-game losing streak.
The game started at a crawl, with the two teams combining to make just six of their first 20 shots. Miles scored eight of TCU’s first 11 points, giving the team a one-point lead eight minutes into the game.
“I just knew I had to get the team going,” Miles said of his quick start. “Because we were playing good defense but not good offense.”
The Frogs then blew the game wide open, taking advantage of poor shooting by the Aggies to erupt on a 33-8 run over the next nine minutes of play.
The run was highlighted by dunks from center Kevin Samuel and Nembhard, who threw his slam down one-handed off a lob from guard Taryn Todd to get the crowd going.
TCU went into the locker room at halftime with a 42-21 lead, its largest halftime advantage since its season opener. While the Frogs were shooting the lights out during the half at 54% from the field, they held the Aggies to just 26% as a team while also forcing them to commit nine turnovers.
Texas A&M did not hit a field goal in the last 5:42 of the first half.
Guard R.J. Nembhard was instrumental in TCU’s early success, collecting six points, four assists and two steals in the first half as the cornerstone of the Frogs’ efficient offense.
More turnovers by the Aggies and hot shooting by the Frogs came following halftime, as TCU scored 10-straight points to open the second half and extend its lead to 31.
Sloppy play from TCU allowed Texas A&M to gain a little ground with a 12-3 run late in the second half, but the Frogs’ lead never dipped below 18, reaching as high as 33.
Eight TCU players scored in the contest, with Nembhard (16), Miles (15) and shooting guard P.J. Fuller (13) finishing in double figures.
Nembhard called the game a “huge momentum-booster” going into a conference matchup.
Up next, the Frogs will return to conference play with a game on the road versus Oklahoma State. Tipoff in Stillwater is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m., and the game will be aired on ESPN2.