Connell Crossland (photo by Michael Clements)
March 9, 2013
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FORT WORTH—TCU sent out its senior class the right way, holding off a furious charge by Oklahoma late to post a 70-67 victory in the team’s regular-season finale Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
The victory, the Horned Frogs’ second in Big 12 play, pushed their final regular-season record to 11-20 overall, while they improved to 2-16 in league action. Oklahoma, which entered the weekend receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, dropped to 20-10 overall and 11-7 in the Big 12.
TCU led by as many as 25 points in the second half Saturday before watching its lead dwindle to as few as one with four-and-a-half minutes to play following a 22-3 OU run. Guard/forward Garlon Green, playing for the final time at the DMC, came up big for the Frogs in crunch time, first ending a seven-minute scoring drought with his fourth 3-pointer of the contest and then adding a slam on the fast break with just 19 seconds remaining.
Green’s final play gave the Frogs a five-point edge, but the Sooners were not done. The squad scored on back-to-back layups inside the final 20 seconds, one coming after forcing a TCU turnover on a five-second call on the in-bounds. OU had one final chance to tie following a pair of free-throws by sophomore guard Kyan Anderson that pushed the lead back two three, but guard Sam Grooms’ last-second 3-pointer glanced off the rim.
Green led TCU in scoring in his home finale with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He went a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc to set a new career best in 3’s made and added five rebounds. Joining Green in double figures was fellow senior forward Connell Crossland, who matched his career high with 13 points while adding a team-high seven rebounds before fouling out midway through the second half. The Frogs’ two other seniors also made big contributions, with guard Nate Butler Lind totaling five points and six rebounds and Adrick McKinney adding four points.
Freshman guard Charles Hill Jr. played his best game of the season, setting career highs in both points (13), assists (four) and 3’s (3-of-5). Sophomore guard Kyan Anderson reached double digits for the career-best ninth straight game with 11 points, and he dished out a game-high seven assists.
Forward Romero Osby led the Sooners with a game-high 19 points. Forward Andrew Fitzgerald and guard Buddy Hield added 13 and 10 points, respectively. Fitzgerald recorded a double-double by adding a game-high 11 rebounds.
TCU played its best half of basketball this season in the opening period, stunning an OU squad that had won four of its last five games to build a 22-point lead at intermission. The Frogs sizzled on the offensive end of the court, shooting 61.3 percent overall, and made 5-of-7 first-half attempts from 3-point range. The squad’s defensive effort was just as impressive, as it limited Oklahoma to only a 10-of-30 showing from the floor.
The Frogs were strong right out of the gate, moving in front by eight points just under six minutes into the contest thanks to the efforts of its seniors. Green, Crossland, Butler Lind and McKinney scored each of TCU’s first 15 points. Crossland had eight alone in the opening 10 minutes.
TCU created some major separation midway through the first stanza, recording a 19-1 run to push ahead by 20 following an Anderson layup at the 6:33 mark. The lead grew as large as 25 just minutes into the second half after Anderson opened the frame with a trey.
OU finally put things together midway through the second half by attacking the basket and reaching the charity stripe. The squad, which finished the game attempting 27 free throws to TCU’s 16, totaled eight of the 22 points in their big second-half spurt at the line.
TCU’s season continues Wednesday with the opening round of the 2013 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship held at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The Frogs, the bracket’s 10th seed, will face No. 7 seed Texas at 8:30 p.m. with The Big 12 Network handling the telecast.