TCU Falls To Charlotte
Jan. 26, 2005
By JENNA FRYER
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Eddie Basden scored 22 points and Charlotte made seven of nine free throws in the final minute to seal a 94-87 victory over TCU on Wednesday night.
E.J. Drayton scored 20 points for Charlotte (14-3, 5-1 Conference USA) and Curtis Withers added 16.
But the Horned Frogs relied too heavily on 3-pointers, shooting 15-of-35 for the game while allowing Charlotte to build several large leads. Shooting from the outside the entire game prevented TCU from getting to the foul line, as well. TCU attempted just eight free throws, compared to 32 for Charlotte.
The 49ers started the night in a four-way tie for first place in the league. In the midst of one of their best seasons in almost a decade, they have won 11 of their last 12 and are fighting to prove they are among the elite teams in the country.
But they were up and down against TCU and struggled to put them away each time the 49ers built a large lead. Basden hit consecutive 3-pointers to give Charlotte a 52-38 lead, but the Horned Frogs were able to cut it to 61-55 after back-to-back 3-pointers from Nile Murry and Brent Hackett.
Basden again pushed Charlotte's lead into double digits on a reverse layup with 5:34 to play to make it 76-33, but TCU came back again behind consecutive 3s from Shropshire that made it 78-69.
TCU used a late flurry of 3s to make it close at the end and force Charlotte to make its foul shots.
Mitchell Baldwin, playing with an awkward brace after missing a game last week with a dislocated shoulder, drew the wrath of coach Bobby Lutz in the first half when he gave Charlotte a 37-23 lead on a fast-break dunk. After hanging on the rim for a moment, he was met at midcourt during the ensuing timeout by a screaming Lutz.
The coach continued his tirade during the huddle. Although Baldwin was smiling when play resumed, a quick 9-0 TCU run forced the 49ers to get serious.
With the lead whittled down to 37-32 following a dunk by Ibikunle, Charlotte had to close out the half strong - getting baskets from Chris Nance and three free throws from Drayton and Basden to take a 42-34 lead into the break.