March 8, 2012
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LAS VEGAS, Nev.—Senior guard Hank Thorns scored 19 points, including the 1,000th of this career, but No. 5 seed TCU was unable to match a solid all-around performance by fourth-seeded Colorado State Thursday during a 81-60 setback in game two of the 2012 Conoco Mountain West Championship quarterfinals.
The loss dropped TCU’s season record to 17-14 overall, while CSU improved to 20-10. The Rams advanced to Friday’s MW semifinals, where they will play top-seeded San Diego State at 6 p.m. PST.
Thorns scored a game-high 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting, pulled down five rebounds and dished out five assists. He hit a pair of 3-pointers, the second of which accounted for the 1,000th point of his career. Thorns also hit the 500-career-assist milestone earlier this season.
Senior guard J.R. Cadot was the only other Horned Frog to score in double figures, totaling 10 points along with six rebounds. Junior forward Adrick McKinney scored nine points.
CSU featured six players who scored in double figures, including forward Pierce Hornung, who recorded a double-double featuring 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Hornung was 8-of-11 from the field overall and grabbed nine of his boards on the offensive glass. Also reaching double digits for the Rams were guard Wes Eikmeier (15), forward Will Bell (14), guard Dwight Smith (13), guard Dorian Green (11) and guard Jesse Carr (10). Carr added a game-high nine assists.
Colorado State torched the nets for the third time this season against the Frogs, shooting 52.6 percent overall from the field for the game. The Rams hit at least 50 percent of its field goals in each of the three meetings this season, while the squad also recorded a 38-27 rebounding advantage Thursday. TCU shot only 38.6 percent from the field and was only 2-of-20 from beyond the arc, snapping a streak of 13 consecutive games in which it made at least six 3-pointers.
TCU found itself trailing big from the outset, as CSU scored the game’s opening nine points, including eight by Eikmeier on a pair of 3’s and another long jumper. The Rams were hot from the field early, making 5-of-6 field-goal attempts to begin the contest compared to only a 2-of-9 start for the Frogs.
CSU pushed its lead to 17 points late in the first half with the help of a 10-2 run that saw the Frogs’ only points come on a layup from McKinney in a near-four-minute stretch. A layup by Hornung with 10 seconds remaining gave the Rams a 42-26 edge at intermission.
The Rams moved out to a 21-point lead two minutes into the second half after scoring seven of the opening nine points of the period, with Green pushing the score to 49-28 on a trey to end the run. TCU regrouped midway through the period, cutting the lead in half with 14 of the game’s next 18 points, but CSU responded by putting the game out of reach with 15 of the next 19 points for a 22-point advantage, 68-46, with 7:48 remaining.
TCU will now wait until Sunday to learn its postseason fate. The Frogs are looking for their first postseason tournament appearance since playing in the 2005 NIT.