TCU MEDIA RELATIONS:
FORT WORTH, Texas – TCU had six players score in double-figures Friday night en route to an 82-64 victory over St. Thomas in its season-opener inside Schollmaier Arena.
The Horned Frogs used a 17-2 run midway through the second half to suffocate the Celts and claim their 69th victory all-time in season-openers in front of 6,075 spectators, which marks the fifth-largest attendance figure in Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena history.
For the game, TCU shot 48.4 percent from the field, while out-rebounding St. Thomas to the tune of 38-27. The Frogs did most of their damage down low, out-scoring the Celts in the paint, 38-22. TCU also turned up its defensive pressure, forcing UST into 21 turnovers.
With the win, the Horned Frogs are now 1-0 on the season, while St. Thomas dropped to 0-4.
Sophomore Alex Robinson carried the Frogs, who improved to 55-13 all-time in home-openers Friday night, scoring 16 points on 7-of-11 from the field. His seven made field goals tied a previous career-high. The Fort Worth native did most of his damage in the second half, tallying 14 of 16 in the period. Karviar Shepherd and Jaylen Fisher were also in double-figures, scoring 14 and 13 points apiece, respectively. Fisher also had a team-high seven assists and four steals in the win. His seven assists marked the most since senior Michael Williams had eight at Baylor a year ago. Fellow freshman Desmond Bane added 12 points on 5-of-8 from the field, while Brandon Parrish chipped in with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting. JD Miller rounded out the TCU notables, wrapping-up play with 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds Friday.
St. Thomas was carried on the night by Josh Bearden who tallied 14 points in the loss. Jason Brancato was also in double-figures with 13 points on 5-of-9 from the field.
Shepherd pushed the TCU advantage to 10 early on in the second half, scoring an old fashioned three-point play. Fisher would increase it to 53-44 a few plays later, scoring off a turnover. He would then watch as Robinson dropped a three and a jumper on back-to-back trips to make it a 58-44 advantage with a little over 16 minutes showing on the scoreboard.
Midway through the second stanza, Bane would score on a three-point play to give the Purple and White a 67-50 tally before Robinson tickled the twine from deep to push it to 72-53 with 8:43 left in the contest.
TCU would put it in cruise control the rest of the way, winning its season-opener comfortably Friday night.
Shepherd gave TCU a 9-5 advantage early on, scoring a three-point play at the 17:51 mark of the opening frame. A few plays later, Bane got into the act, finding the bottom of the net on an acrobatic put-back to push the Purple and White advantage to 11-8.
Parrish would make it 15-11 at about the 15-minute mark, scoring on a jumper. St. Thomas would battle back to take a 19-15 lead, but the senior would have nothing of it, knocking down a deep three midway through to pull the Frogs within 19-18. Parrish continued to scorch the nets, giving TCU a 21-20 advantage before Robinson dropped in a layup to increase the Purple White lead to 23-20 at the 10:59 mark.
The two teams would go back and forth the next couple of trips until Miller pushed the Purple and White advantage to 35-29 with a three ball from the corner with a little over 4 minutes remaining in the half. The sophomore then put the Celts into a spin cycle for the bucket to increase the TCU advantage to seven at 37-30.
Fisher made it a 40-32 lead down the stretch, scoring three-straight before St. Thomas answered with 5-1 run to cut into the deficit. The Frogs would take a 45-37 lead into intermission, as the freshman would score in the final seconds of the opening frame.
• TCU is now 55-13 in home-openers all-time.
• TCU is 69-37 all-time in season-openers.
• Jamie Dixon improved to 14-0 all-time in season-openers as a head coach.
• Alex Robinson scored in double-figures for a ninth time in his career.
• Robinson tied a career-high in shots made with seven.
• JD Miller made only his fourth career start Friday night.
• Miller posted his sixth double-figure scoring game of his career with 10 points.
• Miller led TCU in rebounding for a seventh time in his career.
• Jaylen Fisher and Desmond Bane both made their first career starts Friday.
• Fisher’s seven assists were the most since Michael Williams had eight at Baylor last January.
• Karviar Shepherd scored in double-figures for a 26th time in his career Friday.
• Shepherd made his 86th career start Friday night.
TCU will be back in action Monday night versus Alabama State. Start time is set for 8:00 p.m. CT.