Abron’s 19 points spark TCU men’s victory over Houston Baptist

Dalton Dry of TCU dives for a loose ball during the Frogs’ victory over Houston Baptist. Coach Trent Johnson noted TCU’s improvement in that part of their game Thursday.
Dalton Dry of TCU dives for a loose ball during the Frogs’ victory over Houston Baptist. Coach Trent Johnson noted TCU’s improvement in that part of their game Thursday. Special to the Star-Telegram

As expected when the schedule was made last year, TCU won on Thursday, its 20th consecutive nonconference triumph.

The Horned Frogs did what they were supposed to do in dispatching with ease a Houston Baptist team not in TCU’s league, 90-63 at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.

Senior Devonta Abron registered a career-high 19 points in 22 minutes, leading four players in double figures for TCU, which improved to 2-0.

Vladimir Brodziansky followed a solid effort in TCU’s season opener with another, recording 13 points, six rebounds and four blocks in 21 minutes, and guards Chauncey Collins added 13 and Malique Trent contributed 12 on 4-of-8 shooting.

The most important stat to TCU coach Trent Johnson were the eight turnovers his team committed and the 63 points it yielded.

“Weren’t happy with the way we guarded versus Southeastern Louisiana” in the first game, Johnson said. “For whatever reason we didn’t react to loose balls very well or rebound the ball very well.

“Today was a positive step in the right direction, but these are the things we have to continue to harp on and get better at.”

Acclimating newcomers playing at this level is a priority for TCU in its first 12 games.

Brodziansky, Trent, Lyrik Shreiner and JD Miller are junior college transfers or true freshmen.

Competition in the Big 12 is unconcerned about others’ problems.

Last year, TCU wasn’t good passing or catching the ball. On the surface that responsibility would seem to initially fall to Collins, who has the burden of replacing Kyan Anderson at the point.

“He’s not by himself,” Johnson said. “The big emphasis for us is not the one position, but everybody needs to take care of the ball. We’ve got to be stronger with the ball. We have to make better decisions, but we have a lot of guys who haven’t played basketball at this level.”

The Frogs roster includes more players capable of passing and catching, including Trent, Brodziansky and Miller, a forward, and Shreiner, a guard.

“It’s one thing to do it in junior college and high school …,” Johnson said.

The Frogs played without Chris Washburn (broken finger) for a second consecutive game and will be without Kenrich Williams all season because of knee surgery.

TCU jumped on Houston Baptist early, forcing the Huskies to 24 percent shooting in the first half.

Houston Baptist didn’t score its sixth point until 6:55 of the first half. Trent’s 3-pointer just a bit later increased TCU’s lead to 31-8 at the 6 minute mark.

TCU led 44-19 at the half.

TCU recorded 90 points in consecutive victories for the first time since 2010.

The game included things you probably won’t see once the Big 12 season starts on Jan. 2, such as 6-foot-10 forward Karviar Shepherd firing 3-pointers. He hit the second of his career on two attempts.

Shepherd, who has been limited in practice by a thigh injury, finished with nine points, nine rebounds and a career-high six assists, a point of pride for the coach concerned about ball control.

“I thought Karviar was pretty good,” Johnson said. “He’s been very limited in practice. But our young guys did a decent job.”


Houston Baptist: Lasher 4-11 0-0 11, Crayton 0-5 1-3 1, Stetler 3-6 0-1 6, Odunsi 4-7 6-8 14, Patterson 2-3 2-4 6, Cantwell 0-1 2-2 2, Harris 2-3 2-3 6, O’Suji 0-0 0-0 0, Chukwujekwu 0-2 0-0 0, Stickler 2-3 4-4 9, Robinson 1-2 0-0 2, Ibarra 3-4 0-2 6. Totals 21-47 17-27 63.

TCU (2-0): Brodziansky 6-11 1-1 13, Shepherd 4-7 0-0 9, Collins 2-4 8-8 13, Trent 4-8 2-4 12, Parrish 2-4 2-2 7, Shreiner 0-3 1-2 1, M. Williams 2-5 0-0 5, Miller 3-5 5-6 11, Dry 0-0 0-0 0, Abron 7-14 5-7 19. Totals 30-61 24-30 90.

Halftime—TCU 44-19. 3-Point Goals—Houston Baptist 4-13 (Lasher 3-6, Stickler 1-2, Cantwell 0-1, Chukwujekwu 0-1, Crayton 0-3), TCU 6-18 (Trent 2-5, Shepherd 1-2, Parrish 1-2, M. Williams 1-3, Collins 1-3, Brodziansky 0-1, Shreiner 0-2). Fouled Out—Stetler. Rebounds—Houston Baptist 28 (Ibarra 5), TCU 36 (Shepherd 9). Assists—Houston Baptist 13 (Odunsi 5), TCU 21 (Shepherd 6). Total Fouls—Houston Baptist 20, TCU 24. Technicals—Stetler, Houston Baptist Bench, Shepherd. A—4,233.

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