TCU rallies and stuns Arizona State with game winner in frantic final seconds

The No. 6 TCU was on the ropes on Friday.

But the Horned Frogs staged a late rally and then secured a 72-70 win over 11-seeded Arizona State, capping the frantic final minutes with a game-winner in the closing seconds.

TCU extended a two-point lead to 70-67 with 24 seconds remaining on a free throw by All-Big 12 guard Mike Miles Jr. But a miss to the front of the double bonus left the door open for the Sun Devils. Arizona State’s DJ Horne responded at the other end with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 70 with 15.6 seconds left.

But TCU’s JaKobe Coles had the last laugh. After a TCU timeout, the sophomore forward sank a float in traffic with 1.5 seconds left to give TCU a 72-70 lead.

Arizona State’s desperation as time ticked away missed the mark and the Horned Frogs advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils saw their NCAA tournament end in grief after controlling most of the second half.

TCU took the reins early, opening a 13-2 lead early in the first half. But Arizona State responded with a 15-4 run to tie the game at 17 and entered halftime with a 44-37 lead. The Sun Devils held off the Horned Frogs for most of the second half and led 62-54 with 5:26 remaining. That’s when TCU mounted their rally.

The Horned Frogs cut ASU’s lead for the next few minutes, then tied the game at 67 with 1:52 remaining. Two free throws from Damion Baugh with 34 seconds left gave TCU its first lead of the second half. Then came the frenetic ending.

March 17, 2023;  Denver, Colorado, USA;  TCU Horned Frogs guard Mike Miles Jr. (1) dunks during the first half against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Ball Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Michael Ciaglo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Miles led the TCU effort against Arizona State. (Michael Ciaglo/Reuters)

Miles led the TCU effort with 26 points, four rebounds and three assists. He did most of his damage in the free throw strip, where he converted 12 of 14 attempts. His late miss gave ASU a chance, but Coles made sure it wouldn’t cost the teams anything. horned frogs.

Horne was valiant in a 17-point effort for ASU that included a 4-of-5 night from beyond the 3-point arc. It just wasn’t enough to fend off a better TCU team.

The Horned Frogs advance to the second round in the West Region, where they will face No. 3 Gonzaga at 9:40 p.m. ET Sunday.

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