Jamie Dixon wins coaching debut with alma mater TCU, 82-64
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Alex Robinson, a Texas A&M transfer making his debut for TCU, scored 16 points and the Horned Frogs won coach Jamie Dixon's first game at his alma mater, beating St. Thomas of the NAIA 82-64 on Friday night.
Karviar Shepherd, one of the holdovers from former coach Trent Johnson's staff, had 14 points and six rebounds while freshman point guard Jaylen Fisher, the top recruit in Dixon's first class, finished with 13 points, seven assists, four steals and a blocked shot to help the Horned Frogs pull away in the second half.
Dixon, a guard on the last TCU team to win an NCAA Tournament game in 1987, took the floor with little fanfare, not even getting a pre-game introduction in a half-empty arena. He coached the past 13 seasons at Pittsburgh.
The Celts (0-4) stayed close until the closing minutes of the first half, which ended with a spinning, buzzer-beating layup from Fisher for a 45-37 lead.
Josh Bearden scored 14 points to lead St. Thomas.
St. Thomas: It was a decent showing for second-year coach Anthony Medina's team. The Celts were within four (41-37) as late as the 1:16 mark of the first half before fading.
TCU: Fisher's debut was a positive for Dixon. The 6-foot-2 floor leader from suburban Memphis had committed to UNLV before coach Dave Rice was fired last April. Former Rebels assistant Ryan Miller, who is on Dixon's staff, had recruited him. The capper on his strong all-around debut was a block from behind when Bearden was going up for a wide-open layup or dunk.
St. Thomas: The Celts will return to Fort Worth to face Texas Wesleyan on Wednesday. There are some other upper-division challenges coming, including Southern on Thanksgiving Day.
TCU: The Horned Frogs have three more home games they should win against Alabama State, Jacksonville State and Illinois State before playing at UNLV on Nov. 25. TCU will play either Western Kentucky or Washington the next day in Las Vegas.