TCU eyes 4-0 start vs. Northwestern State

NCAA Basketball

TCU might not be scoring a lot out of the gate, but it’s done a fine job of keeping its early opponents from consistently putting up points.

The Horned Frogs eye a 4-0 start when they try to keep Northwestern State winless on Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas.

TCU has averaged just 65.0 points during its three victories and is only shooting 41.0 percent as a team, including 32.4 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. However, the Horned Frogs have allowed just 54.0 points per game versus Houston Baptist, Tulsa and Liberty, which collectively have shot 40.0 percent against them and just 13-for-59 from distance.

For TCU coach Jamie Dixon and his squad, however, it’s simply about improving while moving toward the next step of this unique season under the cloud of COVID-19.

“What we can do and how we can get better,” Dixon told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram following Sunday’s 56-52 win over pesky Liberty to win the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo.

“The response with something negative, something positive, not making it too big either direction.”

Freshman guard Mike Miles (10.3 points per game) was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week for the solid start to his collegiate career. Teammates RJ Nembhard (11.3 ppg) and Kevin Samuel (10.0 ppg, 11.0 rebounds per game) have also contributed to the Horned Frogs’ strong start and could be in store for more success in this contest.

TCU is 4-0 all-time against Northwestern State (0-3), but the teams last played in December 2010. The current installment of the Demons might have a difficult time finally earning their first victory in the series with the Horned Frogs.

Northwestern State has yielded an average of 90.7 points and 49.0-percent shooting through its first three games of the season. The Demons opened the campaign with a 101-58 loss at then-No. 14 Texas Tech.

Offensively, Northwestern State is led by senior forward Jamaure Gregg, who is averaging 14.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. He scored a team-high 21 in Sunday’s 91-77 loss at Louisiana Tech. Though the Demons fell short in the contest, their 42.4-percent shooting percentage was the best effort on the young season and something to potentially build on for this week.

“There were some bright spots,” coach Mike McConathy told Northwestern State’s official website. “I felt like we competed throughout.”

–Field Level Media

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