No. 24 TCU, SMU renew series after three-season hiatus


SMU will have the opportunity to make national news by extending its lead over neighboring TCU in its all-time streak when the longtime rivals face off in a non-conference game Saturday night at the neutral venue Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Horned Frogs, who finished 24th (7-1), have won the last two meetings, most recently 67-59 in Dallas in December 2018. This reduced their deficit to 106-85 in a series that spans more than a century, until January. 1919.

The Mustangs (3-6), who played regularly in TCU when they were partners in the Southwest Conference and later the Western Athletic Conference, have not defeated a ranked Horned Frogs team since February 28, 1959. The last time TCU entered a ranked one-on-one match, it lived up to its No. 20 ranking with a 94-83 home win on December 5, 2017.

The Horned Frogs built the rankings this year on five straight wins after their only loss of the season, a 64-63 home loss to Northwestern State. They beat Iowa, then ranked 25th, in their current winning streak.

TCU was missing a key member, Damion Baugh, during the loss of Northwest State. The senior guard has since returned from suspension, averaging 12.5 points, five rebounds and five assists in his last two wins.

“We’re finding ourselves,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said of the team coming out of the house, defeating Providence 75-62 and Jackson State 78-51. “We have good players and we have a good balance in the squad. We had moments where we really felt good about each other.”

Eddie Lampkin led TCU’s top six in double figures with 16 points in the Providence game. Jakoby Coles came off the bench for 21 against Jackson State.

SMU didn’t do so well when they hosted Jackson State on Dec. 3, losing 69-68. Since then, the Mustangs lost their third straight 75-57 at home in Arizona State on Wednesday.

SMU coach Rob Lanier felt much better about the 18-point loss to the Sun Devils than the one-point loss to the Tigers.

“They were really fired up with the game and you saw us start the game,” he said of the approach against Arizona State that led to an early 11-point lead. “It seemed like at the start of the game, the guys were thinking, ‘OK, tonight is going to be the night we get over the hump, turn the page, and get started.

“I think the encouraging sign for playing against a good team is that for some time we have been playing defensively at a level that indicates what we want our program to be, the program we are trying to build. “

The Mustangs are led by defenseman Zhurik Phelps, who has scored 20 or more points in four of the team’s nine games. He had 19 points in a loss to Arizona State.

Coincidentally, this season SMU has already played with the 24th team of the country. This was Dayton’s ranking in the first week of the campaign when the Mustangs traveled to Ohio and were defeated 74–62.

–Field level media