TCU’s bench was a big reason why the Horned Frogs picked up perhaps the biggest regular-season victory in program history Saturday at then-No. 2 Kansas.
Now, the No. 11 Horned Frogs turn their attention to building some momentum off that win as they prepare to face visiting Oklahoma on Tuesday in Fort Worth, Texas.
The last time the Horned Frogs faced off against one of the teams near the bottom of the Big 12 standings, it didn’t go so well. TCU fell at West Virginia 74-65 on Wednesday, three days before knocking off the second-ranked Jayhawks 83-60.
In the loss to the Mountaineers, Horned Frogs coach Jamie Dixon said he wasn’t happy with the way he managed his bench.
Against Kansas, TCU’s reserves combined for 39 points and nine assists with just one turnover.
Dixon was particularly pleased with the performances of Shahada Wells and Rondel Walker.
“I knew they were good,” Dixon said. “And we said we’ve got to get them in early and get them into the game.”
Wells had a season-high 17 against Kansas.
“We’re a deep team,” TCU’s Mike Miles Jr. said. “Hada coming off the bench and scoring is a big thing.”
The Horned Frogs (15-4, 4-3 Big 12) have dropped three of their last five but are 2-1 at home in conference play.
Dixon said he was hopeful that 6-foot-11 center Eddie Lampkin Jr., who suffered a high-ankle sprain against Kansas but returned, would be able to play against the Sooners.
“I’m sure he’ll be sore,” Dixon said.
Lampkin had a double-double against Oklahoma in the last meeting between the teams last season.
Tuesday’s game is the first meeting between the teams this year. TCU swept last season’s series.
The Sooners (11-8, 2-5) head into Tuesday’s game coming off another close loss.
Four of Oklahoma’s five Big 12 losses have come by a combined 10 points, including Saturday’s 62-60 defeat to Baylor.
“You’ve got to keep finding ways to get better,” Sooners coach Porter Moser said. “To drastically change, I don’t know if I have any drastic changes like changing two guys here, two guys there. We’ve just got to keep getting better and finding ways to win these.
“What we’ve got to do there is keep pushing to get over the hump. To make winning plays.”
One of the changes Moser could make, though, is using freshman Otega Oweh more.
Oweh averaged just two minutes per game in the Sooners’ first six conference games, but had six points and five steals in 11 minutes Saturday.
“I really like pushing him forward and going through,” Moser said. “He had some of his defense create offense. He created some offense with his defense, and it’s my job to get him better in the flow of the offense.”
Oklahoma also needs more consistency from leading scorer Grant Sherfield (17 points per game).
All 23 points Sherfield has scored over the last two games have come in the first half. The Sooners have been outscored 84-56 in the second half in their last two games.
–Field Level Media