No. 15 TCU stays unbeaten by beating winless Texas Southern
Jamie Dixon is in only his second season at TCU. He likes how the Horned Frogs are developing.
Vladimir Brodziansky scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and No. 15 TCU remained unbeaten with a 91-72 victory over winless Texas Southern on Monday at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
JD Miller finished with a career-high 20 points, and Kenrich Williams added 17 points for the Horned Frogs (11-0), who are one of four remaining unbeaten teams in Division I.
TCU has won 16 straight games, dating back to last season, the longest current win streak in Division I. The Frogs’ last loss came against Iowa State in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament. They went on to win the NIT in coach Jamie Dixon’s first season at his alma mater and have carried that momentum into this season. Dixon spent his 14 seasons at Pittsburgh, before returning to TCU in 2016.
The Frogs’ 16-game win streak is tied for the longest in school history.
“I am happy with where we are at -- we took care of business,” Dixon told reporters after Monday’s win. “I like our rotation, I like where we are at. I like that we’ve beaten the teams we have beaten. It’s a good thing, records are good. That’s what we came here to do -- to change, to improve, to make people proud of the program. We plan on winning and having streaks.”
Sophomore guard Demontrae Jefferson scored a game-high 29 points for Texas Southern, which fell to 0-12.
Robert Lewis and Trayvon Reed each finished with 14 points for the Tigers, who have yet to play a home game this season.
The Horned Frogs attempted to separate themselves from the Tigers multiple times in the first half, but couldn‘t. Lewis knocked down a 3-pointer that gave Texas Southern the lead late in the first half. Jefferson followed with his third 3-pointer of the half, and the Tigers were up 37-33 with two minutes left before halftime.
TCU answered with six straight points to close out the half, sending the Horned Frogs into halftime with a 41-39 lead.
“We were ready to play,” Dixon said. “We had a great week of practices, a great shoot-around, great energy.”
TCU opened the second half with a 12-2 run, capped by a layup from Miller that gave the Horned Frogs a 53-43 lead.
The TCU lead ballooned to 20 late in the second half, as the Frogs pulled away by dominating the backboards and taking advantage of their superior depth. TCU outrebounded the Tigers 51-29, and the Frogs’ bench outscored Texas Southern’s reserves 25-8.
“We can’t have a three- or four-minute lapse like we did tonight and give up a big run,” Texas Southern coach Mike Davis said. “We got nothing in the first five minutes of the second half.”
Texas Southern, under Davis, has played all of its November and December games away from home the past three seasons. It’s part of a strategy for Davis to prep his team for conference play. It’s worked, too. The Tigers have reached the NCAA tournament in three of the last four years, but couldn’t keep up with the Horned Frogs in the second half Monday.
NOTES: The TCU school record for consecutive wins is 17. ... TCU had 10 days off since beating Nevada 84-80 on Dec. 8. ... The Horned Frogs are one of five Big 12 teams ranked this week. ... Texas Southern travels to BYU on Saturday, before opening SWAC play at home against Southern on Jan. 1. ... TCU has one more non-conference tune-up, at home against William & Mary on Friday, before opening Big 12 play against No. 17 Oklahoma on Dec. 30.