LUBBOCK, Texas — JaKobe Coles knew the injury situation for No. 24 TCU meant a bigger role against Texas Tech.
The sophomore big man may not have guessed he was at the free throw line with a one-point deficit going into the final seconds. He arrived calmly.
Coles hit two free throws with 4.3 seconds left, and the Horned Frogs held on for an 83-82 win on Saturday despite leading by 12 points in the final eight minutes.
After a steal and layup by De’Vion Harmon put the Red Raiders up by one with 12 seconds left, Coles caught a pass from Emanuel Miller in the lane and was fouled by Fardaws Aimaq.
The Horned Frogs (19-10, 8-8 Big 12), who were again without center Eddie Lampkin with an ankle injury, were not in the bonus. They went on anyway after the Red Raiders used one of two fouls to give TCU scorer Mike Miles Jr. on the previous possession.
Coles, who was a minute short of his season-high with 27, got up for the shot when the ball was bowled and made contact with Aimaq.
“I thought Emanuel had a terrific play feeding JaKobe,” said TCU coach Jamie Dixon. “We said it was going to be open and we wanted to get him in because we thought they were going to foul Mike if we got him out again.”
Harmon’s desperate triple as the buzzer blew wasn’t close, ending a four-game hitting streak for Texas Tech (16-13, 5-11), which is looking to stay in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament berth despite one 0 -8 start in the Big 12 game.
“These guys have been under a lot of stress,” said Red Raiders head coach Mark Adams. “I was proud of our boys to be back. These guys have been through a lot and we’re probably a little emotionally exhausted.”
Miles scored 24 points and Coles 15 for the Horned Frogs, who had lost five of six and were coming off a loss at home to #3 Kansas. Miller had 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Xavier Cork had 10 points despite fouls.
Aimaq had 19 points, Harmon had 18 and Kevin Obanor finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for Texas Tech.
TCU led 74-62 after a three-pointer by Coles with 7:39 left, but Texas Tech went on an 8-0 run and eventually cut the deficit to two with three minutes left.
Jaylon Tyson’s 3-pointer with 1:43 left gave the Red Raiders their first lead in 10 minutes of halftime before Damion Baugh, who had nine assists, fed Miles for a dunk.
With TCU still leading by one, Miles drove for a field goal before a kickoff pass that Harmon intercepted and converted into a layup for an 82-81 lead.
TCU has managed to stay ranked during its sustained slump, and is 2-5 in February. The Frogs have been ranked in 12 consecutive polls, but that streak of school records could be in jeopardy when the new AP Top 25 is released on Monday.
Miles, the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, bounced back Monday night from a 4-of-14 shootout against the Jayhawks making eight-of-16 from the field. It was his third game after missing five with a hyperextended right knee.
“Mike hit some clutch shots,” Dixon said. “Now he’s back. I sort of said we probably needed two games under (his) belt than him. That’s how the world works when you’re out that long.
TCU: The Horned Frogs ended a seven-game losing streak in Lubbock, and former Texas Tech player Micah Peavy played a big part in the second half. Both of his field goals came on consecutive field goals cleared during a stretch that helped push back one of the Red Raiders’ several second-half trades.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders could have finished the rally with better defensive rebounding in the second half. The Horned Frogs had several buckets knocked over after halftime and outscored Texas Tech 20-12 on second chance points. “They rebounded like crazy,” Dixon said of the Red Raiders. “So we had to do it.”
TCU: No. 8 Texas at home Wednesday.
Texas Tech: Tuesday at #3 Kansas.