Jan. 4, 2012
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FORT WORTH--TCU erased a six-point deficit in the game's final minutes with three late 3-pointers and some shut-down defense to down Rice, 78-74, Wednesday evening at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
The win moved the Horned Frogs' season record to 9-5, while Rice fell to 9-6. TCU matched last season's non-conference victory total with two more out-of-league games still to play.
TCU, which led by five points at halftime, found itself trailing by six points with just over four-and-a-half minutes remaining before the Frogs came to life. Senior guard Hank Thorns hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit in half before junior guard Nate Butler knotted the game up at 69-69 on another trey with 2:32 remaining. Sophomore forward Amric Fields followed by putting the Frogs up for good with a third straight 3-pointer at the 1:30 mark. Fields and Thorns then pushed the lead to seven points with only 41 seconds left by each adding 2-for-2 efforts at the line.
While the Frog offense made the necessary plays to grab the lead, it was the squad's defensive effort that truly rose to the occasion late. TCU held the Owls scoreless from the 5:06 mark until guard Dylan Ennis' traditional 3-point play with only 37 seconds remaining. Rice went 0-for-7 from the field during the crucial stretch. After Ennis' play cut the lead to 76-72, Thorns and Green both added single free throws to help secure the TCU victory.
Fields led the Frogs Wednesday, matching his season scoring high of 18 points and his career rebounding best of six boards. Eleven of Fields' point total came in the second half, while he went 7-of-11 overall from the field and 2-of-5 from beyond the arc.
Freshman Kyan Anderson joined Fields in stepping up in the second half by scoring nine of his 13 points. It marked Anderson's fourth career double-figure performance. Also reaching double digits for the Frogswere senior guard J.R. Cadot and junior forward Adrick McKinney, who scored 10 points apiece. McKinney also pulled in six boards to match Fields for the team rebounding lead, while senior guard Hank Thorns dished out a season-high nine assists.
Rice forward Arsalan Kazemi, the nation's leader in both rebounds and double-doubles entering Wednesday, compiled another solid performance for the Owls with 17 points and a game-high 14 boards. He came alive in the second half after totaling just three points and four rebounds in the opening period. Ennis scored a team-high 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting and chipped in six assists, while guard Connor Frizzelle (14 points) and guard Tamir Jackson (13 points) also scored in double figures.
Rice was particularly dangerous from outside against the Frogs, making 8-of-18 3-point attempts. TCU started slowly from beyond the arc, missing its first eight tries before making seven of its last 12 attempts.
The two teams both were 28-of-60 (46.7 percent) from the field overall.
Rice began the game strong from the opening tip, earning an early double-digit lead on the slow-starting Frogs. A Jackson 3-pointer at the 12:24 mark of the first half capped an 11-2 run that resulted in an 18-8 Owl advantage.
Rice led by a 20-10 count with just over eight minutesremaining in the opening half before the Frogs stormed back with 16 of the game's next 20 points. TCU held the Owls to only a pair of buckets in a five-and-one-half minute stretch and made 7-of-10 field-goal attempts themselves after opening the half only 4-of-18 from the field. Anderson, Fields and McKinney contributed four points each during the run.
Fields gave TCU a five-point lead at intermission, itslargest lead to that point, by drilling a 3-pointer as the final seconds of the first half ticked away.
TCU takes the next week off from competition before concluding its four-game homestand next Wednesday against UT Pan American at Daniel-Meyer-Coliseum. The contest is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.