TCU held on for a tough win Wednesday night over a competitive South Dakota squad. Vladimir Brodziansky led the way for TCU with 23 points, including four late to help TCU maintain it’s small lead. Kenrich Williams scored seven points and pulled down nine rebounds, while the Frogs shot 46% from the floor, and 40% from three on the night.
TCU fell behind early in the first half, due to some lackluster defense and serious offensive woes. Fortunately for the Frogs, they kept South Dakota within striking distance. The Frogs would pull ahead with about 9 minutes remaining in the half, and wouldn’t relinquish the lead. Kouat Noi, Ahmed Hamdy, Kenrich Williams, and Jaylen Fisher all contributed for the Frogs in the first half, and TCU went into the break with a 42-33 lead.
Noi led TCU with 10 points at the break, while Fisher had four points and five assists.
The Frogs opened the second half sluggish, and South Dakota outscored TCU 11-5 to pull within three, 47-44. Fortunately, though, Vlad the Destroyer showed up. He made a beautiful hook shot, and he followed it up with a great dish to Bane the next possession for a three.
TCU would hold a 7-9 point lead for the next 5 minutes, before South Dakota would work their way back into it thanks in large part to Matt Mooney. Mooney was on fire all night, finishing with 31 points on 12-of-22 shooting from the floor.
The Frogs would maintain their slim lead until the 3-minute mark, when Matt Mooney would hit a bucket to tie things at 68. Kouat Noi would give TCU the lead again with a quick basket at the other end, before TCU took a 30-second timeout.
TCU and South Dakota would go back and forth, but the Frogs didn’t give the lead up again after Noi’s bucket. Vlad scored four consecutive points for TCU, the last being a baby hook with 23.1 seconds left in the game. Mooney got a great look for three, but he missed, and Noi came up with the rebound for TCU. He was fouled, and would make both free throws.
South Dakota would get one more look at a three, but an offensive rebound led to a Brodziansky block as time ran out.
TCU would hold on to win 76-71, in the most competitive game early in the season. South Dakota is legit, and Matt Mooney is ridiculous. Mooney only really got help from one other Coyote on the night, as Tyler Hagedorn scored 22 points and pulled down five boards before fouling out. Hagedorn was in foul trouble for most of the night, and only recorded 17 minutes of playing time. Had he been able to be out on the floor more, he would have had a larger impact on this game.
Kouat Noi finished the night with 14 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes of play, and he said after the game Dixon told him to be ready to come off the bench. He responded with eight points in his first six minutes, and some tough play down low late in the game, including a big offensive rebound in the last two minutes of the game.
After the game, coach Jamie Dixon noted that the offense needs to be better, and the Frogs need to cut down on turnovers. You can check out all of his postgame comments, as well as comments from Kouat Noi and Vlad Brodziansky in the videos below.
The Frogs are back in action again next Monday, November 20th, against Omaha.