TCU Opens CBI With Home Win Over Panthers
March 13, 2012
FORT WORTH—Six Horned Frogs scored in double figures and TCU never trailed Tuesday during an 83-73 victory over Milwaukee in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational presented by Zebra Penn played at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
The Frogs improved to 18-14 overall while ending its season-long three-game losing streak. The squad’s 18 wins are four more than in any season since 2004-05. TCU also improved to 14-3 at home this season, matching its most victories at the DMC since 2000-01 (15-1).
TCU controlled the contest from start to finish but was unable to shake free of the Panthers, who kept the score within single digits nearly the entire evening while tying the contest on two occasions. Senior guard Hank Thorns drilled a key 3-pointer to give the Frogs a seven-point cushion with 2:53 remaining, and TCU held Milwaukee to only two points in the final three minutes to help seal the victory.
Senior forward Craig Williams and sophomore forward Amric Fields tied for the team scoring lead with 15 points each, while Williams also pulled down seven boards to share the team rebounding lead with Thorns and senior guard J.R. Cadot. Thorns added 13 points and six assists while sinking a pair of 3-pointers to help lead TCU to a 10-of-21 showing from beyond the arc.
Also reaching double figures for TCU were Cadot and junior guard/forward Garlon Green with 11 points eacg, as well as junior guard Nate Butler, who set a career scoring high with 10 points. Butler was a perfect 3-of-3 from 3-point range. Freshman guard Kyan Anderson totaled six points and a career-high four steals.
As a team, TCU shot a perfect 50 percent from the field, improving to 4-0 this season when it has hit at least half of its shots. The squad held Milwaukee to only a 41.8 percent showing from the field.
Three Panthers scored in double figures, led by forward Tony Meier, who totaled game highs of 18 points and nine rebounds. Fellow forward James Haarsma chipped in 17 points before fouling out in the second half, while guard Kaylon Williams, who entered the game ranked among the nation’s top-10 players in assist average, recorded a double-double featuring 14 points and 10 helpers.
The contest remained a close one for much of the evening. TCU led from the outset and by as many as eight points in the opening 10 minutes of the game. UWM evened the score up for the first time with eight minutes remaining in the opening period, 21-21, on back-to-back 3’s by Williams and forward Kyle Kelm followed by a layup inside by Haarsma.
TCU regrouped with a strong run of its own, scoring the game’s next nine points. Anderson drained his second trey of the half and Cadot added four straight points. The Frogs took an eight-point edge into the locker room, 38-30, after Green scored on a layup with just under three seconds remaining while TCU held for the final shot.
The Panthers tied the game up again with 16 minutes left in the contest, scoring eight unanswered points, but TCU followed with 13 of the game’s next 17 to move back up by nine, 57-48. The Frogs combined for a trio of 3’s during the stretch, two by Butler and one by Thorns.
TCU will now await the completion of the CBI’s remaining first round games on Wednesday evening before learning who and where it will play in the quarterfinal round on Monday, March 19. It is expected that the matchup will be announced on Thursday morning.