TCU men’s basketball held on to defeat Abilene Christian 71-64 for its first victory of the season Tuesday night.
Abilene Christian led TCU 14-10 early in the game before TCU used a 10-0 run to take a 20-14 lead. TCU sustained the lead for most of the half and carried a 32-29 lead into halftime.
After the intermission, TCU came out hot, starting the half with a 13-3 run and stretching the lead to 45-32.
Senior wing Jarvis Ray led the way for TCU (1-2) with his career-high 18 points, despite playing only 27 minutes.
Ray played limited minutes in the first half after he picked up two fouls.
Sophomore guard Christian Gore, a transfer from Brown, also scored a career-high with 14 points off the bench. The sophomore from El Paso, Texas did nearly all of his damage from the free throw line, where he shot 12-of-14.
Gore said after the game that he was looking to attack the basket to take full advantage of rule changes this year that have resulted in more fouls being called.
Freshman center Karviar Shepherd, currently TCU’s only available true post presence, according to TCU coach Trent Johnson, played 38 minutes and controlled the paint for TCU all night, despite playing with four fouls.
Shepherd has recorded four personal fouls in all three games of his young career.
ACU cut TCU’s lead to 55-50 after a 5-0 run from ACU guard Julian Edmonson.
After a pair of free throws from ACU forward Austin Cooke cut TCU’s lead to 63-62 with 2:13 left in the second half, the Horned Frogs used one last late 8-2 run to ice the game and secure the 71-64 victory.
“We’re not playing very well right now, but we found a way to win,” Johnson said in his opening statement after the game.
“If we play hard, and we play together, and we make shots then we are capable of beating anyone we play this year,” Johnson said. “But if we don’t, anybody can beat us, and I think this proves that.”
Johnson said that injuries have had a larger impact on his team’s roster this season than any he can remember prior, as four Frogs are currently sidelined to injury— juniors Amric Fields and Devonta Abron, redshirt freshman Aaron Durley, and freshman Hudson Price.
Junior point guard Kyan Anderson, TCU’s leading scorer from a year ago, was kept in check most of the night, scoring only five points.
Abilene Christian coach Joe Golding said that the Wildcats’ game plan coming into the night was to limit Anderson’s production and make someone else on TCU’s team beat them.
Anderson did record five assists, and also missed a free throw for the first time this season, going 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.
Abilene Christian drops to 0-5 on the year, having lost all five on the road. This is ACU’s first season in division-1.
Freshman Brandon Parrish also scored his career-high for TCU with 15.