FORT WORTH (AP) – The competition was a little stiffer for Jamie Dixon in his second game coaching at his alma mater, but the outcome was much the same for TCU.
Desmond Bane scored 19 points, Jaylen Fisher had 13 points and eight assists, and TCU cruised to a 98-62 win over Alabama State on Monday night. JD Miller added 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
TCU (2-0) has easily won its first two games under Dixon, who returned to Fort Worth after spending 17 seasons at Pittsburgh, including the last 13 as head coach. He won his debut three nights earlier, defeating NAIA’s St. Thomas by 18.
“Our guys are trying, but everything is new,” he said. “I say some things, and I think they understand – and then I catch myself and recognize they haven’t been through it. They haven’t used our terminology. It’s new to them.”
Dixon said he was more pleased with his team’s defensive effort, other than a brief letdown in the second half. TCU gave up just 15 points in the first-half to Alabama State (0-2), the ninth-fewest points allowed in any half by a TCU team.
An early 8-0 run gave the Frogs a cushion they never would relinquish. Eleven players saw the court in the first half for TCU, which closed with an 18-2 run over the final 4:10 to go up by 32 at the break.
TCU maintained at least a 30-point lead throughout the second half, and even Dixon admitted there wasn’t much for him to nitpick about the Horned Frogs’ performance.
“We’re on schedule,” he said. “Yeah, I would have liked to have everything done by Nov. 11, but it’s just not how it’s going to work with a new group. We have to progress each day and take advantage of every opportunity.”
Tony Armstrong led Alabama State with 18 points and eight rebounds. Rodney Simeon added 13 points after scoring 25 in the opener for the Hornets.
Alabama State: The Hornets struggled in the first half for the second consecutive game. After shooting just 20 percent from the field in the first half in their opener, the Hornets managed only 28 percent from the field in the first half against TCU.
TCU: TCU’s huge leads allowed Dixon to continue experimenting with his rotation, subbing out four of his starters less than seven minutes into the game. Five players scored in double figures for the Horned Frogs.
TCU’s Miller had perhaps the play of the game – and it came early. The sophomore drove past a defender along the baseline for a two-handed slam, drawing a foul along the way. His free throw extended TCU’s lead to 11-4.
SHARING THE BALL
Dixon complimented his team’s ball movement, pointing to TCU’s 29 assists on 37 field goals. Newcomers Fisher, a freshman, and Alex Robinson, a Texas A&M transfer, each finished with eight assists. “We’ve got guys who can find guys,” Dixon said.
Alabama State stays on the road, playing next week at Louisiana Tech and Kennesaw State. The Hornets will then play in the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., with games against Northern Arizona and either Jacksonville State or Cal State-Fullerton.
TCU caps off its season-opening, four-game home stand with matchups against Jacksonville State and Illinois State next week. The Horned Frogs will join Alabama State in Las Vegas at the Global Sports Classic with games against UNLV and either Western Kentucky or Washington.
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