TCU, coming off its worst shooting performance of the season Saturday at Oklahoma, drained jumper after jumper and 3-pointer after 3-pointer to put up a season-high in points Tuesday night at Schollmaier Arena.
West Virginia had no chance and played like a team that hadn’t won since Big 12 play began. TCU cruised to a 98-67 victory, snapping a brief two-game losing drought. The 31-point victory is the most lopsided win for the program in Big 12 play since it joined the league in 2012.
“Wow,” junior guard Desmond Bane responded when told of the history made. “It shows where the program is headed. The ceiling is high for this program.”
TCU (13-3, 2-2 Big 12), which fell out of the Top 25 after losing road games at Kansas and Oklahoma last week, has won consecutive home games against West Virginia. But, unlike last season’s upset over the No. 7 team in the country, this came against a Mountaineers team that has now lost five straight and fell below .500 (8-9).
WVU coach Bob Huggins expressed frustration with his team’s ability to compete.
“They played great. They’ve got a great point guard, Jamie does a great job spacing,” Huggins said. “They made shots. They made shots, we didn’t. But we haven’t, so I don’t know why we expect to.”
Bane led the scoring attack with a season-high 26 points, his fifth 20-point performance of the season. Alex Robinson added 14 points and 10 assists, and JD Miller had 13 points.
Kouat Noi and freshman forward Lat Mayen each had 12 points. For Mayen, it marked a career-high in points and minutes (26). It’s the most action Mayen has seen this season as he’s battled a knee injury.
“He was huge for us,” Robinson said of Mayen. “We knew he was always going to have a huge impact for us on the game, it was just a matter of getting him healthy. We’re really fortunate to have him back, especially with all the injuries and stuff going on. He’s going to be a big part of our offense and defense.”
The Frogs had another solid night on the boards, too, grabbing 15 offensive rebounds and turning those into 14 second-chance points. TCU converted 17 offensive rebounds against OU into just eight points on Saturday.
TCU took a 6-5 lead on a jumper by Bane with 15:05 left in the first half, and didn’t trail the rest of the way.
The Frogs went on a 13-0 run early in first half to build a 21-7 lead, and then had a 24-2 run between the end of the first half and start of the second half to take a 61-32 lead.
The Mountaineers never had a chance to get back in it. West Virginia’s James Bolden finished with a team-high 15 points.
TCU coach Jamie Dixon was pleased with the defensive effort shown by the Frogs. They forced 17 turnovers, won the rebounding battle and held the Mountaineers to just 38.3 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from 3-point range.
Defense is something that has been preached all season.
“Coach really has been preaching to us our offense starts with our defense,” Bane said.
Said Dixon: “They shoot a lot of 3s and, if they get it going, they can be really dangerous. We just never let them get going in that regard. That was something that really got us started.”
WVU finished with a season-low three 3-pointers, part of the reason why TCU finished the night in the record books.