November 19, 2019 / 4:09 AM / 22 days ago

Samuel guides TCU past Air Force

Sophomore center Kevin Samuel had his third straight double-double to start the season as TCU held off a second-half push by visiting Air Force to win 65-54 on Monday night in Fort Worth, Texas.

Nov 18, 2019; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs center Kevin Samuel (21) grabs a rebound as Air Force Falcons forward Lavelle Scottie (12) defends during the first half at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Samuel scored 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Horned Frogs, upping his season field-goal percentage to 73.3 percent.

The battle of former Mountain West Conference foes — TCU was in the MWC from 2005-12 before moving to the Big 12 — saw the Horned Frogs (3-0) lead by 11 at halftime and build a 14-point lead before Air Force went on an 11-0 run to pull within 48-45 with 12 minutes left.

Desmond Bane sank a layup with 11:28 remaining to end a scoring drought of more than five minutes for TCU, but overall the senior guard had an off night after being dominant in the Frogs’ first two games. Bane, who was averaging 25.5 points and was 12 of 23 from three-point range coming in, had seven points on 2-of-11 shooting, including 1 for 6 from outside.

Air Force (2-2) got within 52-51 with 7:45 left on a drive by senior guard LeSean Brown before TCU scored the next nine points, including a three-pointer by freshman guard Francisco Farabello, to go up 61-51 with 3:38 to go.

Farabello finished with 11 after scoring just five points in TCU’s first two games.

Air Force stayed within two possessions for most of the first half before TCU got hot from the field, making six of seven shots including a pair of 3-pointers by Farabello, to put the Horned Frogs up 32-20 with 2:36 left before halftime.

TCU led by as many as 14 in the first half before Air Force senior guard Caleb Morris drained a half-court trey at the buzzer to make it 39-28.

Air Force, which turned the ball over 19 times, did not have a player score in double figures. Senior center Ryan Swan scored a team-high nine points.

The game marked the TCU debut of forward Jaedon LeDee, a transfer from Ohio State who was granted eligibility by the NCAA an hour before tipoff. The 6-foot-9 sophomore had four rebounds but did not score in eight minutes of action.

—Field Level Media

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