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TCU Horned Frogs jump past Sam Houston State 85-59

TCU was able to mount an impressive victory in their season opener against Sam Houston State. And the reason why? Effort.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Forth Worth, TX -- TCU started their season off right with an 85-59 win over Sam Houston State on Friday. With the new Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena still under the construction, the Horned Frogs took their victory in the University Rec. Center.

TCU took control early with a 9-0 run, going 3-3 behind the arc in the first plays of the night. The Bearkats eventually got on the board when guard Kamry Orr converted on back-to-back baskets with six minutes left in the first. The Horned Frogs defense remained strong throughout the first quarter, limiting the Bearkats to 2 of 18 from the field.

TCU was led in the second quarter by guard Veja Hamilton, who picked up a pair of quick baskets, contributing to the Frogs 61 percent shooting advantage -- she was truly the catalyst.

As the Horned Frogs headed into halftime, eight of TCU's players were on the board, led by Jada Butts with eight points and five boards.

After intermission, Sam Houston State came out of the break strong on defense, but missed three open lay-ups before Angela Beadle converted for a score. But TCU didn't have any offensive issues, as they continued their momentum from the first half.

The Horned Frogs started the second half 6-of-9 from the field led again by Butts, who hit 16 points and double figures for the fifth time in her career.

After three-quarters, the Horned Frogs remained on top with a 66-41 lead, as SMU transfer Destynee Hives-McCray converted for her eighth point in her first game as a Horned Frog.

And just like in earlier aspects of the game, the fourth quarter followed the same theme as before: it was all TCU. Turnovers and missed shots plagued the Bearkats as they struggled to score to catch up to the Horned Frogs' quick offense.

Butts finished TCU's outing with 18 points and five steals in just 21 minutes of play. Guard Zhana Medley also finished in the top five TCU record book for career points including her 12 from tonight.

After the game, head coach Raegan Pebley praised her team's first regular season game: "This was a great chance for us to get in the win column," said Pebley. "I was proud of the effort our team played with and the sustained effort."

The Horned Frogs return to action Sunday, November 15, when they take on New Orleans at 2 P.M. in Fort Worth.