FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - With its top returning scorer sidelined due to injury, forcing a young team to become even younger, a 90-77 win for TCU over Southeastern Louisiana looked pretty good for the Horned Frogs.
TCU never trailed after a fast start, which included a 13-0 spurt, and gave the Horned Frogs a 16-3 lead less than four minutes in to the season opener for both teams.
One of the newcomers, sophomore transfer Vladimir Brodziansky, scored 19 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in his Division I debut. Brodziansky, who played last season at Pratt Community College, shot 6 of 7 from the field and 6 of 7 from the free-throw line.
Chris Washburn, TCU’s leading returning scorer at 7.1 points per game, did not suit up for the game due what is believed to be a broken pinky finger on his right hand. He will be reevaluated this week.
“We have a lot of new faces,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said. “Everybody on the team is going to be critical without Wash.”
One of the brightest spots for TCU was its free-throw shooting. The Horned Frogs finished last year making just 61.5 percent (517-of-841), a figure that ranked 342nd among 345 teams.
Early on, it looked to be that way again, as the team opened by missing seven of its first 11 attempts. The team was good on 32 of its final 36 tries, however, to finish at 76.6 percent (36 of 47).
After the big early run by TCU, the Lions later cut the gap to 23-20. TCU extended its advantage to as many as 22 midway through the second half, thanks in part to steady marches to the line.
Southeastern Louisiana closed to within 11 on three occasions, the last coming with just over three minutes to play.
“We got off to a good start and then I think we got complacent,” Johnson said. “We’ve got a long ways to go. I wish we could’ve played cleaner, crisper.”
Chauncey Collins added 17 points, Karviar Shepherd had 16 and Brandon Parrish 10 for TCU, which posted its highest point total since scoring 106 against Mississippi Valley State last Nov. 24.
Zay Jackson paced the Lions with 19 points. Keith Charleston had nine points and seven rebounds before fouling out with more than six minutes remaining. He was one of four Southeastern Louisiana players to foul out.
TCU’s win was its 18th straight non-conference victory. Its last loss came against Harvard on Nov. 30, 2013.
TCU: The Horned Frogs were without the services of junior forward Chris Washburn, the team’s leading returning scorer at 7.1 points per game. He did not suit up for the game due what is believed to be a broken pinky finger on his right hand.
Southeastern Louisiana: The loss was the Lions’ seventh in a row dating back to last season, when Southeastern Louisiana finished with a 9-23 record in Jay Ladner’s first season on the bench.
TCU hosts Houston Baptist on Thursday.
Southeastern Louisiana plays at Texas A&M on Monday.
NOT QUITE HOME
TCU played its season opener in the cramped University Recreation Center, which is across the street from its new $72 million arena that didn’t quite get finished in time for the season. The Frogs will play six home games before they get to play in the new arena Dec. 20. For now, they will return to the Fort Worth high school facility they used last season.
Both teams were in the bonus less than seven minutes into the contest. In all, the teams combined for 58 fouls, including 27 before halftime. SE Louisiana was whistled 17 times in the first half, with 10 of 11 players being called for at least one. That number increased to 20 in the second half.
TCU has won nine of its last 10 season openers, including three of four under coach Trent Johnson.
TCU blocked 10 shots, including five from freshman JD Miller in 11 minutes of play.
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