"When we settled down, we played good basketball," TCU head coach Trent Johnson said. "Karviar Shepherd wasn't nervous. Brandon Parrish wasn't nervous, but Michael Williams was 1 for 6. He missed some shots he'd been making. They got us out of rhythm [early], but we settled in."
? Johnson started three freshmen along with junior Kyan Anderson and senior Jarvis Ray, and the freshmen accounted for 49 percent of TCU's scoring.
Brandon Parrish ignited the offensive awakening with two big three pointers that narrowed an early SMU lead. Parrish finished with a team-high 13 points for TCU as he connected on 3 of 6 three pointers.
Parrish's strong effort was not enough to get the Frogs over the hump as TCU fell 69-61.
The end of the first half and start of the second half belonged to TCU as the Frogs, who trailed by one at halftime, jumped out to a six point lead with a 7-0 run to start the half.
SMU head coach Larry Brown said SMU was unprepared to handle the 2-3 zone that Trent Johnson went to at the start of the second half.
"We weren't prepared for zone," Brown said. "Trent never plays zone. I thought there was a rule early in the season, you weren't supposed to play zone. I admire the way it kept their team in the game."
SMU responded with a run of its own as point guard Nic Moore, a transfer from Illinois State gave the Mustangs a boost. Moore finished with 13 points and eight rebounds in his first game in an SMU jersey.
Freshman Keith Frazier, Larry Brown's highest ranked signee in the 2013 class, also contributed 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting.
Johnson said SMU kickstarted their run by getting key rebounds.
"It was 39-34 on the glass," Johnson said. "When you look at the effort and the intensity from a guy like THomas who is every bit of 6'2 playing the four, Jarvis bouncing back from the 4 and 5, we played hard...The game was decided down the stretch with 3, 4 minutes left, we got a couple of rebounds and they swiped it from behind us and we didn't get those opportunities. No question we need to do a better job on the glass."
Karviar Shepherd finished with eight points and eight rebounds for TCU. Shepherd led TCU in rebounding, and he and Jarvis Ray finished with three offensive rebounds apiece.
TCU was forced to play small down the stretch with freshman Hudson Price injured for much of the second half.
When asked about the status of his freshman, Trent Johnson responded, "Don't know. It appears to be an achilles, and we will find out something tomorrow."
Another injury would further hamper TCU's already thin front line. The Frogs played without transfer Chris Washburn who is seeking a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately.
"Haven't heard anything," Johnson said in regards to Washburn's eligibility. The NCAA is expected to rule in regards to a players eligibility before the first official game.
"Hopefully they get [Washburn] eligible," Larry Brown noted. "The NCAA is granting everyone waivers it seems. Everyone gets a waiver."
TCU shot 35 percent from the floor on the evening while SMU shot 42 percent. TCU hit eight threes and 86 percent of their free throws.
The Frogs return to action Tuesday against Longwood at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.