FORT WORTH, Texas – The No. 20-ranked TCU men’s basketball team defeated CSU Bakersfield 66-61 on Wednesday night inside Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Freshman Kendric Davis hit four big free throws in the closing five minutes, including two in the final 27.4 seconds to help the Horned Frogs clinch their 12th straight home opener victory.
This marks the second time in school history that the Frogs have opened the season as a ranked team. TCU is now 71-37 all-time in season openers and 57-13 in home openers.
Seniors Alex Robinson and JD Miller got the start along with junior Desmond Bane and redshirt freshmen RJ Nembhard and Kevin Samuel. JUCO transfer Yuat Alok came off the bench and provided a solid 25 minutes of relief in his first game as a Frog.
TCU got off to a slow start, falling behind 28-37 at the end of the first period. The Frogs went into the locker room shooting 37 percent from the field.
The Horned Frogs clawed their way out of a nine-point deficit with 8:10 remaining in the second half as Alok scored the game-tying layup. The defense also stepped up as TCU held CSU Bakersfield to 24.2 field goal percentage in the second half. Overall the Roadrunners shot 36.2 percent from the field, the lowest by an opponent since Jan. 22, 2018 against WVU (33.3%).
Offense came alive in the second half as TCU shot 56.5 percent from the field. The Frogs had four players in double figures, as Bane led the team in scoring with 14 points followed by Miller (13), Robinson (12), and Alok (11). Bane also notched a double-double, the first of his career with a team-best 10 rebounds.
TCU hosts Oral Roberts on Sunday in Schollmaier Arena.
– With the win, TCU is now 71-37 in season openers all-time and 3-0 under Jamie Dixon including a 57-13 mark when playing the season opener on its home court
-The 6,819 fans in attendance ranks ninth all-time in games played inside Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena
-The attendance number is also the largest in season openers under Dixon at TCU
-The Frogs had five players earn their first minutes in the TCU jerseys with four of them true or redshirt freshmen
– Of the five players who donned the jersey for the first time, three of them scored their first collegiate baskets (Kevin Samuel, Kendric Davis and Yuat Alok)
– TCU had four players in double figures for the first time since March 3, 2018
– TCU moved to 42-13 when out-rebounding opponents
– Redshirt freshmen RJ Nembhard and Kevin Samuel made their first career start
– With 14:37 on the clock in the first half, RJ Nembhard scored a three-pointer to mark the 104th straight game a TCU player made a shot from beyond the arc
– JD Miller finished with 13 points to mark the 26th time in his career that he surpassed the double-digit mark
– Alex Robinson scored 12 points as he finished in the double-digit scoring category for the 48th time in his career
– Robinson finished with a team-best nine assists to mark leading the team in that category in 56 of the 71 games played by him
– Desmond Bane finished with the first double-double of his career with a team-best 14 points to go along with 10 rebounds which ties his career-high
– Desmond Bane has scored 10 or more points in 27 of his last 34 games
– In his first career game, Yuat Alok finished with 11 points to go along with six rebounds
– RJ Nembhard scored a career-high eight points
– Kevin Samuel recorded a career-high four points and five rebounds in his collegiate debut
– Senior Alex Robinson finished with nine assists. He currently has 427 career assists, which ranks sixth behind Darrell Browder (459, 1980-83)