It took longer than expected, but No. 15 TCU finally put away William & Mary Friday night while getting a taste of life without its best player.
The taste was something akin to cold medicine.
TCU played without Kenrich Williams, who was nursing a swollen knee, in an 86-75 victory over the Tribe at Schollmaier Arena.
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When the Horned Frogs step back onto the floor, it will be Oklahoma across from them in a Big 12 opener Dec. 30 at home. Baylor and Kansas follow that.
On Friday, the Frogs had to deal with life without their leading scorer and rebounder, who has six double-doubles this season. In addition to his numbers, Williams is a leadership presence on the floor.
TCU appeared different without last season’s NIT Most Outstanding Player.
Williams’ knee had swelling and discomfort on Thursday and pain on Friday, coach Jamie Dixon said.
An MRI did not show any structural issues, Dixon said.
“You could tell there’s a difference,” Robinson said. “We knew we were going to miss him. But as a team, we all have to step up. One person can’t fill his shoes.”
Five players scored in double-figures for TCU, which outrebounded William & Mary by 17 yet allowed the Tribe to stick around.
Though William & Mary (7-4) was limited to 42 percent from the field, including 32 percent in the first half, the Tribe hit 15 3-pointers to TCU’s four.
Matt Milon led William & Mary with 22 points. Connor Burchfield had 18. Nathan Knight was held to 10, nine below his season average.
The Tribe got serious about an upset at the 6:30 mark, cutting the Frogs’ lead to two, 70-68.
Fisher, who scored 17 points in the second half, nailed a 3-pointer from the corner. The sophomore guard was 6 for 7 in the last 20 minutes.
William & Mary could manage only three baskets in the final four minutes and went more than three minutes without a field goal.
Vladimir Broadziansky had two buckets, an assist and steal during the final stretch.
Robinson had two buckets, including the game-icing layup in the last minute off Desmond Bane’s full-court pass.
“They’re a hard team to guard,” Dixon said. “Offensively, points per possession … they’re tops in the country, top five. They did what they wanted to do offensively.
“We played without our best player against a good team and we won by 11, you feel pretty good.”