FORT WORTH--DeVonta Abron set a career high with 16 points including 13 in the second half as the TCU Horned Frogs (6-2) beat the Southern Utah Thunderbirds by a score of 61-52 Thursday night.
“It’s nice to win, but coming off a hard-fought victory on the road in which I thought we played well and played the game the right way, I thought at times tonight, we got too cute and too careless with the ball,” Johnson said. “I think that bothers me, and it bothers them.”
“I’m not going to sugar-coat anything. What I talk to you about is what I talk to [the team] about. I don’t want you to think I’m not happy, but respecting this game and playing the game the right way,” Johnson said with a sigh. “That’s everything.”
After the Thunderbirds’ 6’11 center Cal Hanks fouled out with 7:48 to play, TCU’s big men Devonta Abron and Adrick McKinney were too much for Southern Utah to handle.
“That was our paint and we were saying, take care of our house,” Abron said. “I take care of defense first, and I just go with the flow on offense.”
Kyan Anderson led the Frogs in scoring with 21 points.
“I am just playing the game and taking whats given to me,” said Anderson who was coming off a 35 point performance against UAB. “These last couple of games, I haven’t been able to miss. It’s staying in the gym. It’s staying to work hard, and it’s paying off.”
Two layups by Kyan Anderson and four free throws put the game away for the Frogs down the stretch.
The Frogs played without their best defender Nate Butler Lind who suffered a knee bruise in TCU’s victory over UAB.
With Jarvis Ray also slowed by tendonitis, walk-on Thomas Montigel started at shooting guard and played 28 minutes, scoring five points and hauling in three rebounds as well.
“You take Nate out the game, someone has got to play. We don’t win the game without if [Montigel] doesn't play well,” Trent Johnson stated.
Defensively, Montigel held Jackson Stevenett, the Thunderbirds’ leading scorer (16 ppg) to one point on 0-10 shooting from the floor.
Damon Heuir instead led the Thunderbirds with 25 points as the Frogs struggled to contain him all evening.
The Frogs take on Houston on December 4. Johnson says Houston will be the most talented team the Frogs have faced.
“We have our radars up because we have tomorrow off and then we have three hard practices because Houston is really good. They are probably more talented than the two teams we lost to.”