In a game marred by fatigue, the Horned Frogs emerged victorious Tuesday over the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks to improve to 2-0 on the season.After just a month of practicing, the Frogs defeated the Lumberjacks 59-53 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
Head coach Neil Dougherty said what stood out to him was the effort the players put into the game. He said they played hard and that the fullest potential of that effort has not been seen.
Another thing he said stood out to him was the lack of statistical leaders.
“I don’t think I have ever been involved in a game that we won, as an assistant or a head coach, that we had no one score double figures,” Dougherty said.
Kevin Langford, a sophomore forward, said these statistics show how complete the team is.
“I think that says a lot for how far our team has come,” Langford said.
Dougherty said a characteristic of this team could be that it will be able to get help from a lot of different players, instead of relying on a few.
The Frogs maintained the lead for most of the game after the Lumberjacks scored the first points. The score was tied twice in the first two minutes.
Dougherty said the team is a young team that needs to work on the basics among other things.
“Right now, I’m preaching to the guys that we’ll take effort, effort, effort over execution,” Dougherty said.
He said he really likes how the team works with each other, cares about each other and comes to each other’s defenses.
“They’re just anxious to go out and prove that they can become something,” Dougherty said.
Langford said there are advantages and disadvantages to having a young team.
“The freshmen have to grow up quick,” Langford said. “The advantage is they’ve got one job and that’s to hustle.”
This puts the team at an advantage because they push hard, Langford said.
In this game, the players had trouble with foul shots, making 57.1 percent in the first half and 47.6 percent in the second, according to the final statistics.
The Frogs faltered in fatigue, Dougherty said.
“I think the free-throw line will turn out to be one of our strengths before the season’s over,” Dougherty said.
The Frogs had a small team at times with four guards on the court at once.
Brent Hackett, a junior guard, said this did hurt them but it can be fixed.
“Our toughness and everything we can do with that will make up for being small,” Hackett said.
Dougherty said when Luke Tauscher, a freshman forward, comes back from a lower back injury he could be a surprise success after the progress he has already made.
Tauscher could come back as early as a few games before Christmas, or as late as the start of conference games, Dougherty said.
The Frogs next host the UTA Mavericks, another non-conference opponent. The Mavericks are 1-0 after a 87-59 win against UT-Tyler on Saturday.