Miles’ last 3 gets No. 14 TCU ahead of Arkansas-Pine Bluff 73-72

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Mike Miles, Emanuel Miller and the No. 14 TCU got an early wake-up call while barely avoiding a season-opening upset.

Miles hit a long 3-pointer with 51 seconds remaining to finally put the Horned Frogs ahead to stay in TCU’s 73-72 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, a seven-game winning team last season. Miller sparked a rally just after halftime after the Golden Lions led by 20 points earlier.

“Every game moves forward… we have to know that for 40 minutes we have to compete. Every possession counts, every play counts, every execution we make counts,” Miller said. “We are one of the best teams in the country. And so we just have to prepare and be the best team.”

Miles, the Big 12 preseason player of the year, hit from beyond the top of the key for a 71-68 lead. Chuck O’Bannon had two free throws with 19 seconds remaining, but his miss with 5 seconds remaining gave the Golden Lions one more shot. Trejon Ware’s base jumper ricocheted off the side of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

Miller had 15 of his 19 points in the second half and Miles finished with 15 for the Frogs, who were ranked at the start of a season for only the third time. They fired all five starters and five other scholarship players after winning their first NCAA Tournament game since 1987, when coach Jamie Dixon was a senior guard for TCU.

“Going out and playing like that was just an indicator of our lack of maturity and maneuverability that we talked about a bit,” said Dixon, who is entering his seventh season as a coach. “But we fought until the end. We found a way to win, and that was a good sign.

Shaun Doss had 25 points on four of Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s 13 3-pointers. Chris Greene finished with four 3s and 13 points, all in the first 10 minutes of the game, but fouled out with 12 1/2 minutes left.

“I’m proud of our guys. We came in and we fought,” second-year coach Solomon Bozeman said. “We had a chance to win it and it just didn’t get away from us.”

The Southwestern Athletic Conference Golden Lions, with a completely revamped roster, went 11-3 before halftime. That included four straight games midway through the first half for a 29-9 lead. Greene had the first three and AC Curry drilled a fast-break 3 with 10:10 left after a Miller turnover. It was part of a bigger 20-2 run that Doss started with two 3s and a nifty reverse layup.

Miller scored the first nine points of the second half for the Frogs in their 19-4 run to go ahead for the first time since 3-0.

TCU tied it at 50 with 13:47 left on Micah Peavy’s two free throws after he stole and was grossly fouled on a dunk attempt. Eddie Lampkin then made a lay-up on a fine pass from Shahada Wells after his steal.

It was only the second lead change of the game. There were six more after that, the last when Miles hit his only 3-pointer.

O’Bannon finished with 11 points and Peavy 10.

BIG PICTURE

Arkansas-Pine Bluff: Junior guard Braham Harris and sophomore guard Kylen Milton, who had seven points and 10 rebounds, are the only returning players from Bozeman’s freshman season. Eight transfers and five freshmen make up the rest of the list. Doss returned to Pine Bluff as a grad transfer, having spent last season at SIU-Edwardsville following three seasons where he averaged 14 points in 60 games for the Lions.

“We went out and had tough guys, guys who love going to the gym, great kids,” Bozeman said. “I guess after today you can say it’s paying off.”

TCU: The Frogs struggled throughout, making just 38.9% of their shots (21 of 54), including just 19% (4 of 21) on 3s. They had 27 free throws while Pine Bluff had 23 personal fouls.

NEXT

Arkansas-Pine Bluff plays its first home game on Wednesday. The Lions host Arkansas-based Champion Christian College the only time they have played at home in their first seven games.

TCU plays the second of four straight home games to start the season Friday night when hosting Lamar, who was 2-27 last season.

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