Guard Malique Trent scored 24 points and forward Vladimir Brodziansky added 19 as TCU opened the game on a 21-7 run to propel the Horned Frogs to an 80-69 win over Abilene Christian on Sunday at the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Wildcats, who trailed by double digits for most of the second half, made a late run and were only down by seven points when guard Jaylen Franklin scored with 53 seconds left to make the score 74-67.
TCU answered with four straight free throws to quell the threat and up their record to 6-4.
Brodziansky keyed the Horned Frogs early surge as the Wildcats’ offense couldn’t get untracked. As Brodziansky was scoring six of the first eight points for the Horned Frogs, the only points the Wildcats could muster in the first four-plus minutes came on a 3-pointer from guard Jovan Crnic.
By the time Trent took over with nine straight points, the Horned Frogs had a comfortable 15-point lead.
Abilene Christian (4-7) was able to slice the lead to five at halftime but then the Wildcats went nearly three minutes without scoring early in the second half to allow TCU to build a 48-34 lead.
A jumper by forward Jarren Lewis pulled the Wildcats to within six points at 48-42 at the 12:57 mark. But Trent and Brodziansky combined to score nine points and Abilene Christian went another four minutes without a field goal, and the Horned Frogs had some room to breathe.
Lewis scored 16 points to lead Abilene Christian. Franklin tossed in 13 before fouling out, and forward Duran Porter scored 10 points before he fouled out.
Forward Karviar Shepherd also reached double figures for the Horned Frogs with 13 points and six rebounds.