TCU will look to take another step back toward the Top 25 when it hosts dangerous Providence on Wednesday in a Big 12-Big East Battle dustup in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Horned Frogs (5-1) return home after winning the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, Fla., beating then-No. 25 Iowa 79-66 in the championship game. Micah Peavy led the way, matching his career high with 16 points for TCU, while Mike Miles Jr. had 15 and Xavier Cork scored 10.
TCU shot 54.8 percent and held Iowa to 34.3 percent in the second half to pull away. The Horned Frogs dominated the paint, earning a 41-28 edge in rebounding and scoring 58 of their points down low.
“I’m certainly excited about our guys and how we played,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “In the second half, our ball pressure seemed to wear them down and we did a better job around the basket contesting shots. I think that is where the game kind of turned.”
TCU held Iowa to a season-low three 3-pointers and has won three straight since losing by a point to Northwestern State on Nov. 14. The Horned Frogs will be buoyed by the return of Damion Baugh on Wednesday from his six-game suspension.
The Friars (5-2) head to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex after a 78-64 win at home over Columbia on Saturday. Jayden Pierre and Ed Croswell scored 13 points apiece for Providence in the victory, with Noah Locke hitting for 10 and Jared Bynum racking up eight of the team’s season-high 21 assists. Providence’s reserve players outscored Columbia’s bench 33-13.
Providence head coach Ed Cooley is looking for some consistency from his team after an uneven effort against Columbia.
“We’re going to need a lot more than what we’re doing right now to compete in the Big East,” Cooley said. “If we think we’re going to come out with this lackluster energy over 40 minutes, we’re going to find ourselves in trouble. It’s something we can work on.”
The Friars forged a 14-2 run in the middle of the second half to create the separation they needed. Providence is 5-0 at home this season and 0-2 on a neutral court.
Wednesday’s game is its first true road game.
Providence and TCU have split the two games they’ve played against each other. The Friars are 3-0 all-time in the Big 12-Big East Battle after earning wins over Texas (2019), TCU (2020) and Texas Tech (2021).