EditorsNote: changes to “their bench” in second graf
Desmond Bane showed his all-around offensive game while scoring 23 points to lead No. 21 TCU to a 77-69 victory over Fresno State on Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas.
Bane poured in a pair of 3-pointers and also had a ringing dunk on the break to pace the Horned Frogs, who got double-figure scoring from all five starters but just two points from their bench.
The Horned Frogs were up 54-49 with 9:38 to play before running off five straight points and doing plenty down the stretch to keep the Bulldogs at bay.
Kevin Samuel added 14 points (on a perfect 6-for-6 showing from the floor) and 10 rebounds for TCU (3-0), with Alex Robinson scoring 13 points and dishing out 14 assists, JD Miller hitting for 14 points and RJ Nembhard contributing 11 points for the Horned Frogs.
Braxton Huggins led Fresno State (1-1) with 18 points, while New Williams scored 17 off the bench and Deshon Taylor added 13 points for the Bulldogs.
TCU led by as many as eight points in the early going, forging a 10-2 advantage after a layup by Robinson off a feed by Nembhard with 15:50 to play in the first half. But the Bulldogs score the next eight points and tied the game just over two minutes later.
Fresno State took the lead at 23-22 on Christian Gray’s layup with 3:17 to play in the half and again at 25-24 on a layup by Higgins 37 seconds later.
The Horned Frogs responded with 6-0 surge, but the Bulldogs had the final say in the half, with buckets by Nate Grimes, Taylor and Huggins over the last 1:11, with the latter garnering Fresno State a 31-29 lead at intermission.
Huggins paced Fresno State with 10 points in the half with Williams racking up nine off the bench. The Bulldogs’ reserves outscored TCU’s bench 17-2 in the half.
Bane led the Horned Frogs with eight points over the first 20 minutes of play.
TCU made plays inside and out over the first seven minutes of the second half on the way to a 52-40 lead. Fresno State then made a run of its own, clawing back to 54-49 using a pair of free throws by Taylor and a steal and a layup by Williams.
TCU returns to the floor Tuesday when it host Lipscomb in the fourth game of a six-game homestand to open the season. Fresno State heads home to host Northwestern on Nov. 22.
—Field Level Media