TCU rolled Charlotte in the first round of the Diamond Head Basketball Challenge late Saturday night, defeating the 49ers 82-57. Now, TCU will face Bucknell on Sunday night at 9pm Central Time, on ESPN 2.
Kouat Noi (15), Jaylen Fisher (14), and Desmond Bane (10) all reached double figures in scoring for the Frogs, who won their sixth straight game to move to 9-1 on the season. Meanwhile, Charlotte fell to 3-6 on the year.
Alex Robinson, one of the best assist-men in the country, handed out 11 dimes on the night, helping offset a tough shooting effort. Robinson was just 3-9 from the floor, but he once again was a master facilitator on offense.
The Frogs opened up the game on a 9-2 run, but the 49ers wouldn’t go away that easily. After TCU’s quick run to open the game, Charlotte knocked down two quick buckets to make it a one possession game.
The Frogs and 49ers traded baskets for the next ten minutes of game time, until TCU started to pull away.
A Charlotte basket at the 9:21 mark of the first half pulled the 49ers to within two, 19-17, but a Kouat Noi personal 8-0 run helped TCU extend their lead to 32-21, as the Frogs closed the half on a 21-7 run.
Noi finished the first half with 11 points to lead all scorers, helped by going 3-6 from deep. Noi’s 34% percentage from beyond the arc this season is well below his clip from last year, but maybe this is a signal that he’s starting to find his shot again.
The Frogs didn’t slow down in the second half, as a few JD Miller dunks sandwiched a Jaylen Fisher three, helping TCU out to a 49-31 advantage.
TCU didn’t let off the gas, running out to a 69-41 advantage with 8:49 remaining in the contest, and pushing that lead to 30 with just over six minutes left.
Charlotte pushed back in the next few minutes of the game, cutting TCU’s lead from 30 down to 22, but the Frogs hit cruise control and never looked back.
Ten Horned Frogs scored on the night, including RJ Nembhard, who had one of his better nights of the year adding seven points. Kaden Archie had a breakaway dunk in the waning minutes, and Kendric Davis once again made his presence known as a facilitator. Those three, coupled with Kevin Samuel, Yuat Alok, and Noi, reveal an incredibly youthful bench for the Frogs, which signals good things to come for TCU.
Again, TCU plays Bucknell on Sunday night at 9pm Central Time. The game will be on ESPN 2. Should the Frogs advance, they’ll play the winner of Indiana State-UNLV. Should they lose, they’ll play the loser of the same matchup.
And now, it’s bedtime.
Good night, and Go Frogs.