FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — JD Miller got the message from new coach Jamie Dixon coming off TCU’s first loss under its new boss.
Miller scored 12 points with a more aggressive approach that sparked a huge advantage on free throws, freshman point guard Jaylen Fisher led five players in double figures with 13 and the Horned Frogs beat Wofford 72-63 on Saturday, bouncing back from a loss to crosstown rival SMU.
“I missed a couple of shots early in the game at SMU,” Miller said of the 74-59 loss in Dallas earlier in the week. “I thought this game I should just attack the basket. That’s all I was thinking.”
Kenrich Williams had his fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Horned Frogs (9-1) in the first meeting between the schools. Dixon, a former TCU player, improved to 3-0 against the Terriers after beating them twice in 13 years at Pittsburgh.
Fletcher Magee scored 18 points for Wofford (3-7), a four-time qualifier for the NCAA Tournament since 2010 but winless in seven tries against Division I teams this season. Ryan Sawvell had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
TCU, which had a 30-12 deficit on free throws in the loss to the Mustangs, had 20 free throws to none for the Terriers in the first half. The Horned Frogs finished with a season-high 41 to eight for Wofford but shot just 59 percent from the line to help Wofford stay close.
“It was the difference,” Dixon said. “We got beat at the line the other night and we beat them at the line. But you’ve got to shoot a higher percentage. It’s almost a turnover when you go 24 for 41.”
Brandon Parrish had two 3-pointers for all six of his points, the first giving the Horned Frogs their first double-digit lead midway through the second half and the other ending an 8-0 run that got the Terriers within three points in the final two minutes.
Williams scored seven of his points from the line, and Fisher offset a 3-of-10 shooting game by making five of six free throws. The Horned Frogs outscored the Terriers 24-6 at the line.
“That wasn’t a matter of the school from South Carolina coming to Texas and getting the bad end of the stick,” Wofford coach Mike Young said. “They were tougher. They were more aggressive. Consequently, they shot more foul shots than we did.”
Wofford: The Terriers have been competitive in most of their losses, a solid sign in pursuit of another Southern Conference tournament title that would secure another trip to the NCAAs. “I thought this one had the makings,” Young said. “We’re getting closer. Certainly not off to the start that we anticipated.”
TCU: Dixon isn’t ready to start thinking about the difficult Big 12 season. He sees an offense that strays from the plan too often, but has the promise to be competitive in one of the nation’s most difficult conferences.
FIRST START, CAREER HIGH
Slovakian forward Vladimir Brodziansky of TCU got his first start of the season and had a career-high five blocks to go with 10 points and eight rebounds. One of the boards came on a missed 3 by Williams with TCU’s lead down to 64-61 with 1:37 remaining. It led to Parrish’s second 3. “He’s playing good. Got to play a little bit better post defense and score a little better,” Dixon said. “He’s improving. There’s no question.”
Freshman Desmond Bane added 10 points off the bench.
Wofford: The Terriers play Austin Peay at home Thursday followed by road games at Coastal Carolina (Dec. 19) and Georgia Tech (Dec. 22) before conference play starts Dec. 31 at home against Mercer.
TCU: After an eight-day break, the Horned Frogs have two more tuneups before the Big 12 opener against No. 3 Kansas at home on Dec. 30. Texas Southern visits Dec. 18, followed by Bradley on Dec. 21.