Dougherty Era Begins With 91-81 Victory

Nov. 22, 2002

Box Score

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The TCU Horned Frogs defeated the Sam Houston Bearkats 91-81 in the regular season opener for both teams on Friday night in front of 4,616 fans at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Head coach Neil Dougherty secured his first regular season win, making the Frogs 1-0 on the year. It was TCU's 22nd consecutive home-opening victory dating back to 1981.

The game seesawed early on before the Frogs went on an 11-0 run to turn a tie score into a 30-19 TCU lead. The Frogs pushed the lead to as many as 19 in the first half before the Bearkats closed the gap late with a 7-0 spurt. The fast-paced action of the first stanza ended with the Frogs holding a 47-35 lead over the Bearkats. Ron Hobbs led the team with 13 first-half points in his first Horned Frog game.

The Bearkats were able to hang around in the second half and narrowed the deficit to seven on one occasion. But the Frogs answered the challenge, and bumped the lead into double digits for much of the remainder of the game. The Horned Frogs shot a solid 47.7 percent for the game and connected on 12-of-24 three-point attempts.

Junior Blount stepped up in the second half to end the game with a team-high 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting. Corey Santee followed close behind with 23 points and Hobbs finished with 17. Santee matched a career best with six three-pointers, while Bingo Merriex led the Frogs in rebounds with 11. Merriex added six points, and is now 17 shy of 1,000 for his career.

"I was really proud of the way the guys played tonight," Dougherty said. "I am glad to show them that there is a reward for all the hard work that they have been putting in."

Sam Houston's Felton Freeman topped his personal best of 29 points by scoring a game-high 36 points in 36 minutes of play. He was 13-for-15 from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 from three-point range. Bearkat Donald Cole got a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.



The Frogs are next in action when the team faces the Mustangs of SMU on Sunday, Nov. 24, at Moody Coliseum in Dallas.

Game Notes:
* TCU head coach Neil Dougherty is now 1-0 in his head coaching career.
* The Horned Frogs have won every home opener since the 1981 season, a span of 22 games.
* Senior Bingo Merriex scored six points and is now just 17 points shy of 1,000 for his career.
* Ron Hobbs had 17 points and six rebounds in his Horned Frog debut.
* The Horned Frogs' biggest lead of the game was 19 points, 47-28, at the2:19 mark of the first half.
* Sophomore Corey Santee scored 23 points. It was the eighth time in his career that he scored at least 20 points in a game. Santee tied his career high with six three-pointers.
* Senior Junior Blount had a team-high 28 points, and has scored at least 20 in six of his last seven regular season games.
* TCU has reached the 90-point mark in all three games under Dougherty (two exhibitions and one regular season contest).

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