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TCU 70, Winthrop 60: A Tale of Two Halves

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The Frogs move to 7-2 on the season.

TCU Basketball vs USC | December 6, 2019 | Dickies Arena | Fort Worth, TX
TCU Basketball vs USC | December 6, 2019 | Dickies Arena | Fort Worth, TX
Melissa Triebwasser

TCU moved to 7-2 on Wednesday night with a 70-60 win over the Winthrop Eagles. It was neither pretty nor easy, as TCU’s inconsistencies with rebounding, turnovers, and outside shots once again reared their heads.

RJ Nembhard led the Frogs with 15 points, Jaire Grayer added 12, while Desmond Bane and Jaedon LeDee both contributed 11. Meanwhile, Winthrop shot just 32.3% from the floor for the game and turned it over 17 times as they dropped to 4-6 overall on the season.

TCU’s first half was bad, to put it plainly. The Frogs shot just 39.3%, turned the ball over 10 times, and committed 11 fouls, to lead by just five at the break.

The second half was a different story, somewhat, for TCU. They shot 56.7% from the floor, played solid defense, and withstood the few surges Winthrop tried to make.

Fortunately for the Frogs, Winthrop played just as poorly in the second half as they did in the first. The Eagles shot just 35% from the floor and turned it over seven times, to total 17 turnovers on the night.

TCU struggled with turnovers on the night too, with 16 of their own, and foul trouble. Kevin Samuel played just 17 minutes on the night, after sitting for the majority of the first half. Samuel picked up two fouls in his first three minutes of playing time, and sat from the 16-minute mark of the first half until halftime.

Bane meanwhile picked up his fourth foul with 8:17 left in the game, and was forced to the bench while TCU led 53-44.

PJ Fuller finished with four fouls, while LeDee and Diante Smith finished with three, each picking their third up with substantial time left in the second half.

That will definitely impact the Frogs more during conference play, as will the turnovers. If the Frogs have a first half like they did tonight against a Big 12 opponent, it’s hard to see them coming away with a win.

At this point folks should also be asking themselves where this team would be without Jaedon LeDee. The Ohio State transfer has made a huge difference for the team, providing a very Kenrich Williams-esque style of energy and play. He finished the night with 11 points and six rebounds, but it was his defensive effort and energy that spurred the Frogs on when they were struggling.

The Frogs next game comes Saturday afternoon, at 2:00pm against Lamar. They’ll then have a week off for finals before hosting No. 23 Xavier on Sunday the 22nd.