If he’s ever been on a longer roll, TCU’s Kyan Anderson doesn’t remember.
Not even when he was a star at North Crowley High School. Or in a pickup game on the playground.
The junior scored 17 consecutive points for the Horned Frogs during a seven-minute stretch in the first half Thursday evening to help TCU pull away early against Grambling State in a 98-75 win at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
“Probably never done it,” said Anderson, who finished with 27 points, eight shy of his career high, despite sitting with the rest of the starters for the game’s final seven minutes. “I don’t remember if I have. It’s just a reaction game. I’m reading the defense, and whatever they give me, I try to react to.”
Freshman guard Michael Williams’ first career start helped free up Anderson offensively. Williams finished with a career-high 14 points and six assists.
“Mike has been playing well,” said TCU coach Trent Johnson, who had been mulling the idea of starting Williams for more than a week. “I thought the opportunity presented itself tonight. He did a good job. I think it helped Kyan, too, because now Kyan is free off the ball.”
Anderson’s outburst sparked a 15-5 run that increased TCU’s lead to 16 on Jarvis Ray’s dunk with 7:20 left before halftime. Anderson pulled up for 3-pointers, drove the lane for layups and connected on mid-range jumpers. He had 21 points at the half. He finished 9 of 16 from the field and had five assists and three steals. Karviar Shepherd had a career high with 12 points for the second consecutive game and led with eight rebounds.
TCU’s lead briefly dipped to 12 early in the second half, but a flurry of points, including jumpers by Ray, Brandon Parrish, Anderson and Williams quickly pushed the Frogs’ lead up to 23 five minutes into the second half. TCU led by as much as 32.
“I thought we got contributions from everybody,” Johnson said. “We haven’t had a game like that in a long time where we’ve been able to play a lot of guys.”
TCU hosts Tulsa (4-7) at 11 a.m. Saturday at DMC. The Frogs beat the Golden Hurricane 72-65 in late November in the Great Alaskan Shootout.
TCU (7-3) came out with the energy Johnson has been looking for at home, a drastic contrast to the Frogs’ win Sunday, when a big offensive run was necessary late to hold off UT Pan American.
“We started in practice,” Williams said. “We played at a higher tempo. We talked about it before the game. I just wanted to contribute any way I could as long as we got this win. We came out with intensity and finally gave our home court, all our fans, a game where we came out ready to play.”
Forward Amric Fields, who has been out since breaking his left (non-shooting) hand on Nov. 30, is improving at a good pace. The team hopes he will be available in early January.
TCU’s Big 12 schedule begins against West Virginia on Jan. 4 at DMC.