The TCU Horned Frogs rolled to a 93-74 win over Alcorn State on Tuesday. JaKobe Coles, Emanuel Miller, Micah Peavy, and Essam Mostafa all finished the night in double figures with a 19-point victory over the Braves. Coles led the team with 20 points, four rebounds, two assists, one block and three steals. Followed by Miller with 13, Peavy with 11 and Mostafa with 10 points.
Coles emerged as the star of the first half, leading the team with 17 points, one block, and two steals. Coles successfully made 3-of-4 3-pointers, including two consecutive shots at the 17:53 mark. Coles and Peavy showcased outstanding defense with 11:24 to go, pressuring ASU’s Dekedran Thorn until the shot clock ran down. Coles blocked Thorn’s last-second attempt at a 3-point shot from the right key.
Despite ASU applying early half-court pressure, it did not disrupt the Frogs’ offensive flow. However, the team faced challenges in the first half due to fouls. Peavy, Ernest Udeh, and Jameer Nelson Jr. committed three consecutive fouls, sending J. Hawkins to the line. Fortunately for the Frogs, Hawkins only completed 1-of-3 attempts, keeping the Braves within a 10-point range of the Frogs with 8:27 left in the half.
Xavier Cork contributed 5 total points in the first half, completing two back-to-back layups that brought the Frogs to a score of 37-24. Cork was fouled by ASU’s Jeremiah Kendall, leading to a trip to the free-throw line, where he sank 1-of-2 attempts, bringing the score to 38-26.
Miller states that having a versatile team like this enables them to distribute the ball more effectively, relying on various players within the roster.
“We are versatile across the board and having that gives us so many options,” said Miller. “And with all those options we become threats. If you take away one thing, we have someone else. I think that is what has been helping us. And a lot of that happens in our transitions too.”
Chuck O’Bannon found Coles open under the rim, and Coles completed the layup, bringing the score to 40-26. Unfortunately, O’Bannon was substituted out at the 2:55 mark after accumulating three fouls.
The Braves narrowed the game within 10 points once again after Essam Mostafa fouled ASU’s Thorn. Thorn made both of his free throw attempts, bringing the score to 31-41. In the last 16 seconds, Gambrell narrowed the Braves’ deficit further, ending the half at 33-41.
Miller got going in the second half, adding 8 more points and finishing the night with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one steal. Miller noted that Coles consistently establishes momentum in the first half, and he has successfully sustained that momentum into the second half over the past five games.
“The second half is where I mostly get active,” said Miller. “And a lot of it is because of JaKobe. But not only him but also a lot of my teammates. They do such a great job of drawing in the defense and I start getting easier shots in the second half.”
Miller opened up the 17:03 mark with two consecutive layups followed by a 3-point shot by Peavy that brought the game 52-39. Udeh went on to block an ASU shot and Miller completed another layup bringing the score 55-39, a TCU 9-0 run on the Braves. It wasn’t until the 15:47 mark that ASU disrupted the Frogs’ run with a layup by Jeremiah Kendall.
Mostafa came in and had a huge impact on the game especially when it came to second chance points. Mostafa was fouled by Thorn and knocked down both free throw attempts, bringing the score 65-48. Mostafa mentioned that he was able to get on a roll tonight, crediting players like Miller and Coles for providing him with opportunities to get open.
“When they get me the ball, I just have to score it,” said Mostafa. “I’ve said it before, if it is time for me to score, I will score. When those guys get the attention I am going to be open. So put up the ball and I will score it.”
Miller also emphasized that Mostafa’s influence on the game through second-chance points, is substantial, even if it doesn’t reflect in the statistics sheet.
“It’s huge,” said Miller. “It may not say on the scoreboard or on the stats sheet but it is huge. All those second chance points he’s given us, whether he is going up for them himself or kicking it out to another player it makes a big impact. Second chance points win games and that’s what we have been doing.”
Cork came in and made the most of his minutes at the 5:27 mark he blocked an ASU shot and with 1:33 left on the clock. Cork went on to hit two consecutive dunks, making the score 91-67. The game was secured with two successful free throws by Cole Despie, giving the Frogs the 19 point victory.
With a strong 5-0 start to the season, the Horned Frogs will have almost a week to prepare before facing the Houston Baptist Huskies, who currently hold a 0-3 record. The matchup is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 27, with tip-off set at 7 p.m.