Senior guard Desmond Bane had 23 points and TCU controlled the paint in an 81-69 home win over Illinois State on Tuesday night in Fort Worth, Texas.
Bane, who also had nine rebounds and five assists, was 9 of 14 from the field as the Horned Frogs (6-1) had a 42-18 edge on points in the paint.
Illinois State (3-5) hit 11 3-pointers, making six of its first seven to start the second half, but couldn't buy a basket inside the arc. The Redbirds shot 43.8 percent on two-pointers, going nearly 10 minutes in the second half without a made two.
TCU led 39-32 at halftime and upped that edge to 52-39 with 16:32 left after back-to-back 3-pointers by senior guard Jaire Grayer. The Horned Frogs made their first seven shots in the second half, a complete reversal from the first half when they stayed 0 for 7 from the field.
Grayer finished with 15 points including 4 of 6 from long distance, with the rest of TCU going 4 of 22 from outside.
The Redbirds wouldn't go away, though, thanks to red-hot perimeter shooting. Consecutive triples by freshman guard Antonio Reeves cut TCU's lead to 56-53 with 11:59 left, then a three by freshman guard D.J. Horne capped a 14-3 run to tie it at 59 with 9:17 remaining.
Grayer gave TCU the lead back with a three at the 8:45 mark, then sophomore center Kevin Samuel completed a 3-point play to make it 65-59 with 7:20 left. A steal by sophomore forward Jaedon Ledee keyed a fast break that was finished by sophomore guard R.J. Nembhard, putting the Frogs up 72-62 with 3:35 left.
Illinois State, which went more than six minutes during the second half without scoring anywhere other than the 3-point line, scored the game's first seven points only to see TCU go on a 9-0 run in a 49-second span to take the lead and hold it for good.
Senior guard Zach Copeland led the Redbirds with 19 points, making 5 of 8 3-pointers, while Reeves had 15 and Horne added 13.
--Field Level Media