Second-half surge lifts team in opener

Second-half surge lifts team in opener

Despite a slow start, the men’s basketball team found its rhythm Saturday.After trailing for most of the first half, the Horned Frogs would respond with a strong second-half performance en route to an 89-70 victory on opening night against Angelo State at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

At the beginning of the game, the Rams led by seven points and kept ahead of the Horned Frogs throughout the first half.

Head coach Neil Dougherty said at first, his players weren’t scoring and were having foul trouble, but once the team settled down, they were able to focus and play better.

Senior guard Brent Hackett led the team in scoring with 19 points and chipped in three assists on the night.

“I felt the whole time that it was our game, and I felt like we just needed to settle down,” Hackett said.

After halftime, the Horned Frogs got into a groove and stretched its lead to eight points and eventually, got the lead up to 21 points against the Rams.

The Horned Frogs’ defense went into overdrive with 30 out of 52 defensive rebounds in the second half and strong blocks at the basket from senior forward Alvardo Parker and junior guard Henry Salter. Parker started the second half strong with eight consecutive points and finished the game with 18 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

“In the first half, we should have attacked the offensive glass much more,” Parker said. “Coming out of the second half, that was our main focus . getting the ball inside.”

The team’s shooting percentage also increased after the halftime from 38.7 percent to 50 percent. Salter scored all of his 13 points in the second half.

“This is how I’ve always wanted to play, but we never had the opportunity to play this way,” Dougherty said. “We never had the depth; we never had the health.”

Dougherty said around this time last year, Parker injured his knee in a game and it affected his performance on the court. However, Dougherty and Hackett said they see a great difference in the way Parker plays this year.

Parker is healthier, plays smarter and “looks a lot sharper,” Dougherty said.

He said the team’s next step is to review Saturday’s game and work on preparing the players for their next game against Rice on Tuesday night.

“We’ll be working on everything TCU needs to do better,” Dougherty said. “Work with zones, press offense – a lot of things that still need a lot of tinkering.