FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — When TCU's lead was cut to one soon after halftime, the Horned Frogs ran a pair of set plays. Brandon Parrish hit 3-pointers both times. Parrish scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting in his first start of the season, including those big 3s in a 35-second span as the Horned Frogs went on to a 79-60 victory over Jacksonville State on Friday night. They improved to 3-0 under new coach Jamie Dixon.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — When TCU's lead was cut to one soon after halftime, the Horned Frogs ran a pair of set plays. Brandon Parrish hit 3-pointers both times.
Parrish scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting in his first start of the season, including those big 3s in a 35-second span as the Horned Frogs went on to a 79-60 victory over Jacksonville State on Friday night. They improved to 3-0 under new coach Jamie Dixon.
"It was a big momentum shift in the game, coach called the right play, and we executed really well," Parrish said. "My guys got me the ball in open areas, and I just shot it with confidence."
The only player to start every TCU game last season, Parrish had come off the bench the first two games. The 6-foot-6 senior started against Jacksonville State (1-3) while second-leading scorer JD Miller served a one-game suspension for violation of team rules. Dixon said Miller would be back for the next game.
Freshman guard Desmond Bane has been in double figures in all three games for TCU after scoring 14 points. Alex Robinson, the former Texas A&M transfer who had to sit out last season, had 10 points and five assists.
Malcolm Drumwright led the Gamecocks with 19 points. Norbertas Giga and Erik Durham each had 11 points and eight rebounds.
After Jacksonville State cut the gap to 36-35 right after halftime, Parrish had the consecutive 3-pointers. The first was from the left side in front of the TCU bench, and then he hit from the right corner.
"His attitude, his energy — if he was back next year, I'd have him run for student body president," Dixon said. "It would be good."
Jacksonville State: The Gamecocks and first-year coach Ray Harper are piling up the miles together. This was their fourth consecutive road game to start the season. They will play 15 of their first 16 games away from their Alabama campus.
TCU: The Horned Frogs are coming together under coach Jamie Dixon, with a mix of veteran players and talented freshmen. The return of Kenrich Williams is a boost, as he was the team's top rebounder as a sophomore two years ago before microfracture knee surgery. In his first game since the 2015 Big 12 tournament, he had nine points in 20 minutes.
Parrish said the biggest thing being stressed by Dixon is playing together. "We can build trust amongst each other, so when we're out there on the court, we can hold each other accountable and we can trust each other to be in the right spot and doing the right things," Parrish said. "We're going to be a better team overall."
BETTER THAN HALF WITH FEW GIVEAWAYS
TCU shot 50 percent overall (28 of 56) and was just slightly better on 3-pointers by hitting 52 percent (11 of 21). Along with the good shooting, the Frogs had only eight turnovers.
Jacksonville State plays its first home game under Harper on Tuesday night against Dalton State College, their only game at home until Jan. 5.
TCU wraps up its season-opening four-game homestand Monday against Illinois State before going to Las Vegas for two games. Those are the only games the Frogs will play out of Texas before Big 12 Conference play begins.
Follow Stephen Hawkins on Twitter @hawkaptexas