FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Kouat Noi had 27 points and Jaylen Fisher added 12 points on four 3-pointers as TCU beat Eastern Michigan 87-69 on Monday night, after the Horned Frogs dropped out of the AP Top 25 poll earlier in the day.
Neither Noi or Fisher started in what was only the second game of the season for both after missing the first three games because of knee issues. They entered about 5 1/2 minutes into the game, not long before a 31-10 run put the Horned Frogs (4-1) ahead to stay.
Kevin Samuel had 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting, while Desmond Bane and JD Miller each had 11 for TCU, which had been ranked 18th before a nine-point home loss to Lipscomb in its only game last week.
Eastern Michigan (4-4) had an 11-2 lead with 13 minutes left in the first half after Paul Jackson rebounded a Fisher miss, leading to Damari Parris' alley-oop pass to Boubacar Toure for a dunk.
Toure had 20 points and 12 rebounds for EMU, while Jackson had 18 points and six assists.
Samuel's dunk on the opening possession was TCU's only points in the first nearly eight minutes of the game. The Frogs missed seven shots in a row until another dunk by Samuel started a go-ahead 17-4 spurt. That was part of the bigger run that turned a nine-point deficit into a 12-point lead before halftime, including the first of Noi's five 3s.
Fisher was limited to 17 games last season before a torn meniscus in his right knee last January, and then the junior point guard needed arthroscopic surgery on that same knee in September.
EMU: The Eagles have lost three in a row, a streak that began when they scored only four points in the first half at Rutgers last week. Once their early nine-point lead was gone, the Eagles never led again.
TCU: Having Fisher and Noi back on the court will be a boost for a team that has already had seven players make their TCU debuts this season.
Eastern Michigan plays Saturday at Northeastern in Boston, then has three in a row at home before going to No. 2 Kansas after Christmas. The Eagles lost at then-No. 1 Duke two weeks ago.
TCU wraps up its season-opening six-game homestand Friday night against Central Michigan. The Horned Frogs only go about 40 miles for their first road game on Dec. 5 at SMU.
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