Desmond Bane scored 13 of his 14 points after halftime when No. 20 TCU rallied for a 66-61 victory over Cal State Bakersfield on Wednesday night.
Bane’s tiebreaking driving layup with 2:48 left finally put TCU ahead to stay. The Horned Frogs had trailed by as many as 11 points before halftime.
TCU played an opener as a ranked team for the first time in 20 seasons, since 1998-99. That was after the Horned Frogs had gone to the 1998 NCAA Tournament, their last one before making it last March in the second season for coach Jamie Dixon at his alma mater.
Jarkel Joiner had 18 points and Damiyne Durham 11 for Bakersfield. Both had three 3-pointers.
JD Miller had 13 points for TCU, while Alex Robinson had 12 points and nine assists. Yuat Alok had 11 points.
Bane, who also had 10 rebounds, and Alex Robinson each had five points in a 19-6 run in the second half that pushed TCU ahead for the first time since less than seven minutes into the game. The Frogs led 49-47 when Bane drove for a layup and made the free throw after being fouled.
Durham and Lee had all of the points for the Roadrunners in a 10-1 run in the first half that pushed them ahead 23-15. Durham had a layup and Lee a jumper, then after a TCU free throw they each had a 3-pointer in a 34-second span that prompted Dixon to call timeout.
Bakersfield led 37-28 at halftime.
Cal State Bakersfield has nine players on its roster who previously redshirted a season, matching the most in the nation. Joiner is a sophomore guard from Oxford, Mississippi, where Barnes was an All-SEC guard as a player for Ole Miss in 1988 before later becoming the SEC Coach of the Year for the Rebels. This is Barnes’ eighth season at Bakersfield.
TCU opened the season without junior point guard Jaylen Fisher, who will miss at least a couple of weeks while recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in September. He missed the final 16 games last season after torn meniscus in that knee.
Cal State Bakersfield plays its home opener Friday against Antelope Valley, the only time the Roadrunners will be at home until Dec. 4.
TCU is playing its first six games at home, the next Sunday against Oral Roberts. They won’t leave campus for a game until making the 40-mile trip to play SMU in Dallas on Dec. 5.
Source: The Associated Press