TCU will look to build on its best performance of the season when its squares off against winless California on Friday in the opening round of the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, Fla.
Clemson and No. 25 Iowa are on the other side of the final four of the tournament bracket, with the winners and losers of Friday’s games squaring off on Saturday in the championship and consolation games.
The Horned Frogs (3-1) bounced back from a loss at home to Northwestern State that dropped them out of the Top 25 with a dominating 95-60 home win over Louisiana-Monroe on Nov. 17. TCU never trailed and led 53-26 at the half.
The Horned Frogs finished 10 of 20 from beyond the arc and hit 17 of their 19 free throws in the win.
Emanuel Miller led TCU with 16 points, with JaKobe Coles adding a career-high 15 points, Micah Peavy hitting for 12 points and Chuck O’Bannon tallying 11. Big 12 preseason player of the year Mike Miles Jr. missed his second straight game with a left foot injury but is expected back for Friday’s contest.
TCU was also without Damion Baugh, who sat out his fifth game of a six-game suspension to start the season. He will be available for the Horned Frogs game against Providence on Nov. 30.
“Coaches challenged us, they were talking about how our defense wasn’t like it was last year,” Peavy said. “So I think we took that personal and we showed that in the win over ULM by just diving on the floors, getting our first charge of the season.”
The injury-racked Golden Bears (0-5) have started the season with a historic thud, losing their first five games in a season for the first time in history. Cal’s latest game ended with a 59-55 defeat at home to Texas State on Monday.
Devin Askew led Cal with 17 points while Lars Thiemann added 15 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. The Golden Bears held Texas State to 33.9-percent shooting from the floor and were within a point twice in the final 19 seconds before the visitors canned their free throws to close the game.
“We’re always this close,” Thiemann said. “We keep putting ourselves in a bad situation before we come to that point.”
Cal and TCU have met twice before but not since 1999, with both the Golden Bears winning both of those contests on neutral courts.
–Field Level Media