FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Chris Washburn and the TCU Horned Frogs passed their post-exams test on the court.
Washburn had 15 points and nine rebounds in only 11 minutes, leading four TCU players scoring in double figures, and the Frogs beat Texas Southern 96-59 on Sunday night in their first game in eight days.
“You never know how you are going to play coming out of finals. It was great,” first-year Frogs coach Jamie Dixon said. “The main thing is that we were unselfish. … We just kept passing and finding the open guy.”
Alex Robinson added 13 points, while Jaylen Fisher and Kenrich Williams each had 12 for the Horned Frogs (10-1). The only better start in school history was 13-0 two seasons ago, and they were also 10-1 in 1997-98 — the last time they went to the NCAA Tournament.
Ask if the game felt as easy as it looked, Williams said it did because the Frogs played “great team ball” against the Tigers (4-8) after practicing hard the last five days.
“Our practices are sometimes much harder than the games,” Washburn said. “We foul each other in practices and do everything to make the games easier.”
Demontrae Jefferson had 15 points and Jalan McCloud 13 for the Tigers, who played the 12th of 16 consecutive road games to start the season. They lost for the second time in a span of about 24 hours, after an 88-80 loss at LSU on Saturday night.
Texas Southern’s only lead came when Derrick Griffin scored the first basket of the game.
TCU took the lead for good with an 8-0 run in a 35-second span soon after that. After JD Miller hit a 3-pointer, Fisher had a steal that became a breakaway layup for Williams. Fisher then followed a Texas Southern miss with a fast-break 3-pointer for an 8-2 lead.
Fisher opened the second half with a 3-pointer, starting an 11-2 run that made it 51-28.
Texas Southern: The Tigers seem tired after their fourth game in nine days, including lopsided losses to No. 11 Louisville and No. 25 Cincinnati. Plus, they were coming off the loss at LSU, when Texas Southern trailed by only one with a minute to play. The first half ended with Jefferson missing a breakaway layup.
TCU: The Frogs seemed relaxed and effectively took care of business. They shot 53 percent (36 of 68) from the field and had a 50-27 rebounding margin. There were 12 players who played at least 10 minutes, two more played six apiece and no one played more than Robinson’s 24 minutes. All 14 players dressed out got into the game played at least 6 minutes.
Washburn was 5-of-8 shooting from the field, and made 5 of 6 free throws. … TCU had season highs for total rebounds (50), offensive rebounds (17) and defensive boards (33). … The 96 points by the Frogs marked their second-highest scoring game this season. They scored 98 against Alabama State. … Fisher, a true freshman has scored in double figures the past six games. … Robinson had five assists, his fifth straight game with at least five.
Texas Southern plays its final non-conference game of the regular season Wednesday at fourth-ranked Baylor. The Tigers then play their first three SWAC games on the road, starting Jan. 2 at Alcorn State.
TCU hosts Bradley on Wednesday in its last game before Big 12 play. The Horned Frogs are home for their conference opener Dec. 30 against third-ranked Kansas.