After more than a week off, it’s to be expected that the Frogs would show a little rust as they returned to the floor Sunday afternoon to face off against Indiana State at Schollmaier Arena. That was certainly the case, as TCU missed their first three three point attempts and struggled to finish in the lane, even on relatively open looks.
But the second unit, sparked by Kaden Archie got things rolling, an an exceptional defensive effort held the previously hot shooting Sycamores at bay through most of the afternoon. Indiana State was held to single digits through the first half of the first half, before Jordan Barnes warmed up, going a personal 5-0 run - one that got started with a three pointer at the shot clock buzzer that should have never happened, after a pretty obvious missed travel call.
But, ultimately, TCU was too talented, on both ends of the floor, to ever be seriously challenged by Indiana State. Truly, it was TCU’s depth that seemed to make a difference - on an afternoon where the Frogs didn’t get much from JD Miller or Kouat Noi on offense, guys like Kaden Archie and Yuat Alok stepped up and made the most of their opportunities.
TCU’s ball movement, which had been steadily improving each game, and was the difference maker in the wins over SMU and USC, was lacking early - likely a consequence of not having as much practice time with finals taking place. There were a lot of forced shots and bad decisions in traffic, leading to some careless turnovers and empty possessions. TCU had just nine assists on 15 made shots in the first half, turning it over six times, but made up for their miscues with a strong rebounding effort, securing 21 first half boards including nine on the offensive end - four of which came from Kouat Noi. Strong offense outputs by Alex Robinson and Desmond Bane (nine points apiece), and a balanced attack that saw seven of the ten players that saw court time score, helped overcome a slow start that saw the Frogs shoot just 44% in the first half.
But, despite not playing their cleanest game of the season, the Frogs went into the break with a 38-26 advantage, mostly on the back of a defense that held the Sycamores to under 40% shooting from the floor, and one of the country’s best three pointing teams to just 2-11 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes. They also benefited from 12 Indiana State turnovers, and had a host of deflections from the opening tip.
TCU has definitely been a second half team in 2018, something that remained true Sunday night. The Frogs quickly turned a 13 point lead into an 18 point one, as Jaylen Fisher hit two of his four three pointers in a 30 second span. It was all Frogs from there, as the lead grew as high as 26 points and was never closer than 13 in the second half. Four Frogs finished in double digits, led by Alex Robinson’s 20, Desmond Bane chipped in 17, Fisher had 14, and Noi ten. Nine of Robinson’s points came during a 90 second stretch late in the second half that put the final nail in the coffin of ISU. Barnes led the Sycamores with 17, but as a team, Indiana State shot just over 40% and made three of 16 attempts from behind the arc, torpedoing the previous nation’s best made 3-point percentage.
TCU forced 20 turnovers on the night while committing just ten of their own, scoring 22 points off of Sycamore mistakes and allowing six off of their own. The Frogs had 20 assists on their 33 made field goals. TCU scored at least 90 points for the second consecutive game and has now scored at least 75 points in six of their nine
Next up, the Frogs travel to Hawaii to take on Charlotte in Honolulu, with tip-off set for 11:30pm CT.