TCU got a much-needed change in flavor in competition, and the bigger, stronger and faster Horned Frogs rolled over Colgate 76-49 on Saturday at the University Recreation Center.
There was a far bigger triumph, however, according to coach Trent Johnson, in the life his team showed coming off three disappointing losses to NCAA Tournament-caliber teams over the past 10 days or so, culminating Wednesday in a hard-to-swallow loss to No. 22 SMU.
Already short of players because of injuries, Johnson described his players as “flat” and “down” emotionally in practices leading up to Saturday’s win.
“The thing I was impressed with was our energy and our effort. I was concerned coming off our loss to SMU,” Johnson said. “Three games we could have won with a play here or there. That takes a toll on kids. It was good to get guys minutes and feeling good about themselves.”
The Frogs (4-3) got after the Raiders from the start and built a lead as big as 28 points in the second half.
Sophomore Vladimir Brodziansky, who matched a career high with 19 points, scored eight during TCU’s opening 13-2 run over the first 4 1/2 minutes. With a decided size advantage inside, TCU continually got the ball inside of Colgate’s defense.
The Frogs outscored the Raiders 42-14 inside and overwhelmed the Patriot League team on the backboards.
TCU held a 40-23 rebounding advantage, including 14 on the offensive end. Karviar Shepherd had a game-high 11 rebounds.
TCU, already without forward Chris Washburn (broken finger) and Kenrich Williams (out for the year with after knee surgery), on Saturday was without point guard Chauncey Collins, who went down with a leg injury during practice on Thursday. Johnson and coaches are awaiting results of an MRI.
Mike Williams, who gave the Frogs a second-half boost against SMU, made the third start of his career in Collins’ place.
He responded with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting and no turnovers in 28 minutes.
Johnson was also pleased with what he termed a willingness to share the ball and ball movement. TCU players resisted the temptation to isolate themselves one-on-one against less talented defenders and instead worked to get good shots and teammates involved.
As evidence, Malique Trent, who has been working on shot selection, had seven assists, a career high, albeit after only seven career games. He also had six rebounds for TCU, which has won 22 of its past 25 nonconference games, dating to last season.
Austin Tillotson led Colgate (2-5) with a game-high 20 points.
TCU next heads off to the Pacific Northwest for a meeting with Washington and a fourth chance to defeat a quality opponent. In addition to SMU, the Frogs have fallen short against South Dakota State and Rhode Island.
For TCU, it’s another opportunity to demonstrate that it can make the plays down the stretch to close out victory over a good team before the Big 12 season opens Jan. 2 at Oklahoma State.
“With the three losses, we learned a lot about ourselves,” said Brandon Parrish, who contributed 14 points and five rebounds. “This is a good win. We’ve got a big month coming up and we need to build off it.
“I don’t think this team has taken a step back as far as confidence. I think everybody on this team believes in themselves and has faith in one another.”
Colgate (2-5) – Regisford 2-3 1-1 5, Rivard 1-8 0-0 2, O’Brien 0-4 0-0 0, Tillotson 7-14 2-2 20, Robertson 0-2 0-0 0, Harries 0-0 0-0 0, Favorite 0-1 0-0 0, Lindgren 0-0 0-0 0, Ramon 2-5 0-0 6, Batt 1-1 0-0 2, Swopshire 0-3 0-1 0, Krmpotich 4-7 2-4 10, Amiel 1-1 1-2 4. Totals 18-49 6-10 49.
TCU (4-3) – Brodziansky 7-10 4-5 19, Shepherd 3-8 2-5 8, M. Williams 3-7 0-0 8, Trent 3-7 0-0 6, Parrish 5-8 2-2 14, Shreiner 2-3 0-0 4, Miller 3-10 3-6 9, Dry 0-0 0-0 0, Abron 4-6 0-0 8. Totals 30-59 11-18 76.
Halftime—TCU 37-19. 3-Point Goals—Colgate 7-26 (Tillotson 4-10, Ramon 2-3, Amiel 1-1, Favorite 0-1, Regisford 0-1, Swopshire 0-2, O’Brien 0-3, Rivard 0-5), TCU 5-14 (Parrish 2-4, M. Williams 2-6, Brodziansky 1-1, Shepherd 0-1, Trent 0-2). Fouled Out—Krmpotich. Rebounds—Colgate 23 (Regisford 4), TCU 40 (Shepherd 11). Assists—Colgate 11 (O’Brien, Ramon 3), TCU 19 (Trent 7). Total Fouls—Colgate 18, TCU 14. A—4,296.