J.R. Cadot scored 14 points while TCU erased an 18-point deficit in the second half.
March 3, 2012
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FORT WORTH--TCU erased an 18-point second-half deficit but was unable to add to an already long list of comebacks this season, falling to No. 21 San Diego State in overtime, 98-92, Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Senior guards Hank Thorns and J.R. Cadot scored more than 20 points each to lead the Horned Frogs.
TCU concluded the regular season with a 17-13 overall record and finished fifth place in the Mountain West with an even 7-7 mark. San Diego State, which improved to 24-6 overall, earned a share of the conference championship with New Mexico by finishing with a 10-4 record in MW play.
The Frogs, looking for their school-record third consecutive victory over a ranked opponent at the DMC following earlier wins over No. 11 UNLV and No. 18 New Mexico, gave the Aztecs all they could handle late in Saturday's game after trailing big. Thorns hit a 3-pointer, his third of the contest, to give TCU a three-point edge with only 1:45 remaining in regulation, but the lead would not last. SDSU forward Tim Shelton scored on a layup and was fouled, tying the contest at 83-83 on the free throw with just 21 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
The Aztecs never trailed in overtime and scored seven of the first nine points to move in front by five points two minutes in on a jumper by guard Xavier Thames. Fellow guard Chase Tapley made two free throws with 46 seconds left to push the lead to six points following a 1-o-f-2 trip the stripe by Thorns, who later cut the Frog deficit back to a single possession with his fourth 3-pointer. The shot would prove to be the final bucket for the Frogs, as SDSU outscored the squad by a 4-1 margin at the line in the game's closing seconds.
Thorns and Cadot, playing in their final regular-season home game as Frogs along with senior forward Craig Williams and senior center Cheick Kone, performed brilliantly for TCU on Senior Night. Thorns paced TCU yet again in a big game with 25 points on 8-of-21 shooting, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range. He added a season-high six rebounds. Cadot played the best game of his career, scoring a career-high 24 points and pulling down eight rebounds. The Nassau, Bahamas, native made 6-of-12 field-goal attempts, including 2-of-4 treys, and went 10-of-12 at the charity stripe.
Freshman guard Kyan Anderson chipped in nine points for TCU, while junior forward Adrick McKinney scored eight. Williams totaled seven points and seven boards.
Aztec sophomore guard Jamaal Franklin showed why is a top candidate for MW Player of the Year, recording a double-double featuring game highs of 35 points and 13 rebounds, while he also dished out five assists. Franklin made three 3-pointers and was 14-of-17 at the free-throw line. SDSU had three others score in double figures, including Tapley (18), Thames (16) and guard James Rahon (12).
The Aztecs shot 49.2 percent from the field, including 56.7 percent in the opening period while taking a 12-point edge at intermission, and outrebounded the Frogs by a 50-37 margin.
TCU found itself down by double digits for much of the early part of the second half, and the Aztecs led by as many as 18 points twice in the early going before TCU rallied. The Frogs, led by a solid effort from Cadot, scored 32 of the game's next 46 points and tied the game at 77-77 on a pair of free throws by junior forward Connell Crossland with 5:50 remaining. Cadot was the go-to player for TCU during the run, scoring 14 points, including a pair of treys. Thorns added seven points during the comeback.
Franklin put SDSU back up by three points on a free throw and layup after TCU knotted the game, but Cadot answered with three more points of his own on after being fouled on a layup with 2:33 remaining. Thorns drilled his big 3 on the next TCU possession to give the Frogs their first lead since midway through the first half.
The two teams played a back-and-forth first half until an 11-2 run by San Diego State moved the Aztecs in front by six points, 32-26, with just under three minutes remaining in the period. SDSU totaled 10 of the final 12 points prior to intermission to run into the locker room with a 46-34 halftime lead.
With the regular season completed, TCU now turns its attention to next week's 2012 Conoco Mountain West Championship in Las Vegas, Nev. The Frogs, who have earned the tournament's No. 5 seed, will face No. 4 Colorado State in Game 2 on Thursday, March 8. Tip-off from UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center is set for 2:30 p.m. PT, and the game will be televised live by The MountainWest Sports Network (The Mtn.).