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TCU beats No. 25 Iowa to win Emerald Coast Classic tournament

Micah Peavy scored 16 points and Mike Miles Jr. added 15 in his second game from injury to lead TCU 79-66 against No. 25 Iowa in Saturday night’s Emerald Coast Classic championship game.

Miles, the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The point guard returned in Friday’s semifinals after missing two games with a left foot injury.

The Horned Frogs (5-1) broke up what had been a nip-and-tuck fight until about three minutes into the second half, when TCU started a 13-4 run to take a 58-43 – Gain leadership. TCU coach Jamie Dixon praised his team’s defense.

“Eventually the ball pressure seemed to wear them down and we did a better job fighting for the basket,” said Dixon. “I think that’s where it turned.”

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery agreed.

“Overall, they’ve been very physical with their defense,” McCaffery said. “That influenced us throughout the game. We also started shooting the ball quickly.”

Xavier Cork was the only other scorer in double figures for TCU with 10 points.

TCU kept Iowa’s Patrick McCaffery scoreless a day after he led the Hawkeyes (5-1) by 21 points in their semifinal win over Clemson. Tony Perkins and Ahron Ulis led Iowa by 15 points each. Kris Murray added 11.

A healthy Miles has been an important factor for TCU, which has also dealt with other injuries and illnesses.

“I felt really good going into that game because it was literally the first game I’ve had this year that I knew who was playing in the morning,” Dixon said.

Peavy opened the game with a 3-pointer and a layup as TCU sprinted to a 9-0 lead. That was the Horned Frogs’ biggest lead of the first half. Iowa responded with an 11-2 run for the first of five ties before halftime.

TWICE IS NICE

It was TCU’s second title on the Emerald Coast in as many appearances. The Horned Frogs also won in 2017, defeating New Mexico and St. Bonaventure. Later that season, TCU received its first NCAA tournament offer in 20 years.

THE SERIES

This was only the fourth time TCU and Iowa have played over a 76-year span. The last meeting was in 2017 when TCU in Iowa City won a second round NIT game 94-92 in overtime. Iowa prevailed in 1946 and 1948.

THE BIG PICTURE

TCU: The win showed how important Miles is to the Horned Frogs and could propel them back into the AP Top 25. They opened at No. 14, their highest preseason ranking, but dropped out of the state poll after a point loss to Northwestern while Miles was sidelined. Defeating Iowa is their first signature win and they don’t have a chance for another until January when they start a series of Big 12 games.

Iowa: The loss likely meant the Hawkeyes only briefly stayed in the top 25 after securing last place earlier in the week. The road ahead is challenging, beginning with a double dose of Atlantic Coast Conference matchups at Georgia Tech on Tuesday and then No. 8 Duke in the Jimmy V Classic before the domestic rivalry with Iowa State and the Big Ten opener against Wisconsin.

NEXT

Iowa: hosts Georgia Tech on Tuesday as part of the ACC Big Ten Challenge.

TCU: Hosts Providence on Wednesday.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/ AP_Top25

This story was originally published Nov 26, 2022 9:27 p.m.

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