TCU Wraps Up First Half of MW Schedule at #17 San Diego State

Feb. 3, 2012

GAME #22
TCU (13-8; 3-3 MW)  at #17/17 SAN DIEGO ST. (19-3; 5-1 MW)


Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012  //  7 p.m. PT //  San Diego, Calif.  //  Viejas Arena (12,414)
Series Record: SDSU leads, 11-6  //  Last Meeting: Feb. 5, 2011 in San Diego (L, 53-60)
Television: The Mtn. (DirecTV ch. 616)  //  Talent: Rich Cellini (pxp), Brad Holland (analyst)
Radio: 820 AM/96.7 FM (WBAP), 88.7 FM (KTCU)
Talent: Brian Estridge (pxp), John Denton (analyst)
Internet: (radio, GameTracker)
TCU Head Coach: Jim Christian (Rhode Island, ‘88)    
      Record at TCU: 51-66 (.436) in 4th season  //  Overall: 189-124 (.604) in 10th season
SDSU Head Coach: Steve Fisher (Illinois State, ‘67)   
      Record at SDSU: 251-155 (.618) in 13th season  //  Overall: 435-237 (.647) in 21st season

FORT WORTH--TCU finishes off the first half of its double round-robin 2012 Mountain West schedule Saturday when it travels  west to take on San Diego State at the Aztecs’ Viejas Arena. Tip-off for the contest, which will be televised live by The MountainWest Sports Network (The Mtn.), is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT.

The Horned Frogs enter the weekend in a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference standings at 3-3 following Wednesday’s home win over Wyoming. The squad, which started the season 3-0 on the road, will be looking to end a four-game skid away from Fort Worth Saturday against the Aztecs.

SDSU will be the second ranked opponent for TCU in MW play following an earlier loss at then No. 14 UNLV on Jan. 18. The Aztecs are 19-3 overall and tied for first with the Rebels in the MW standings at 5-1 in the league. The squad is 14-1 at home and has won nine straight games at Viejas Arena since a Nov. 30 setback to No. 22 Creighton.

TCU and San Diego State will be meeting for the 18th time in the all-time series. The Aztecs own an 11-6 advantage overall and have won each of the last six meetings.

Saturday’s contest marks TCU’s 14th televised game of the season and its 10th on the MountainWest Sports Network (The Mtn.). The tandem of Rich Cellini (play-by-play) and Brad Holland (analyst) will handle broadcast duties.

Fans can also follow the contest on the radio throughout the Metroplex on 820 AM/96.7 FM KCLE and 88.7 FM KTCU with Brian Estridge (play-by-play) and John Denton (analyst) calling the action. Links to both the live radio Internet feed and live stats will be available via TCU’s official athletics website,

* Hank Thorns needs only one more assists to move into a tie for 10th place on TCU’s career top-10 list (321).

* TCU has already surpassed last season’s totals for overall victories (11) and conference wins (one).

* TCU is 10-1 in games decided by six points or fewer. The squad was 2-5 in such contests last season.

* The total matches the program record for wins in a single season by six points or fewer set in 1981-82 (10-6) and later equaled in 1998-99 (10-5).

* The Frogs have outscored opponents by only 32 points in the 10 close wins compared to a margin of 120 points in their other three victories.

* TCU is forcing an average of 17.1 turnovers per game, 1.2 more than any other Mountain West team.

* TCU is No. 2 in the MW and No. 38 nationally in average turnover margin (+2.67). More than 25% of the Frogs’ points this season have come off turnovers (385 of 1,483).

* Thorns is No. 4 in the MW in assists (4.52 apg), 3-point percentage (39.3%) and minutes played (32.86 mpg); No. 6 in 3-pointers made (2.00 3pg); No. 7 in scoring (13.1 ppg); No. 8 in assist/turnover ratio (1.48); and tied for No. 9 in steals (1.48 spg).

* In MW games only, Thorns is No. 1 in 3-pointers (2.83 3pg), No. 2 in 3-point percentage (44.7%) and No. 5 in scoring (14.3 ppg).

* Thorns has made at least one 3-pointer in nine consecutive games, a career-long streak.

* Kyan Anderson leads all Mountain West freshmen in scoring during league action (9.7 ppg).

* J.R. Cadot is No. 3 in the MW in offensive rebounds (2.48 rpg); No. 4 in total rebounds (6.6 rpg); No. 5 in defensive rebounds (4.14 rpg); and No. 8 in steals (1.52 spg).

* Amric Fields is No. 19 in MW scoring average (10.3 ppg) and Garlon Green is No. 20 (10.2 ppg).

* Green’s free-throw shooting rate of 84.1% is on pace to rank just outside of the top-10 season efforts in  TCU history.

* TCU is 8-0 when shooting 45.0% or better from the field, 8-0 when outrebounding the opposition, 11-1 when leading at halftime and 9-2 when scoring 70 points or more.

No.    Name    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Yr.    P - R - APG        
  5    Kyan Anderson    G    5-11    165    Fr.    7.5 - 1.6 - 2.5
10    Hank Thorns    G    5-9    165    Sr.    13.1 - 2.4 - 4.3
23    J.R. Cadot    G    6-5    210    Sr.    9.8 - 6.6 - 1.5#
33    Garlon Green    G/F    6-7    215    Jr.    10.2 - 3.4 - 0.7
41    Craig Williams    F    6-8    265    Sr.    7.0 - 3.6 - 0.5

No.    Name    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Yr.    P - R - APG        
  2    Xavier Thames    G    6-3    195    So.    10.7 - 3.0 - 4.7
10    Tim Shelton    F    6-7    240    Sr.    4.2 - 4.8 - 1.7
11    James Rahon    G    6-5    210    Jr.    9.4 - 2.8 - 0.8
21    Jamaal Franklin    F    6-5    195    So.    15.7 - 7.0 - 1.2#
22    Chase Tapley    G    6-3    195    Jr.    16.0 - 4.2 - 2.1#
^-blocks per game;     #-steals per game;    
*-players determined by starters from each team’s previous game

San Diego State, 19-3 overall this season and tied for first in the Mountain West standings with a 5-1 league mark, enters Saturday’s game looking for its second straight victory following its first league loss at Colorado State (77-60) The Aztecs have won 12 of their last 13 games overall and nine straight contests at home.

Led by 13th-year head coach Steve Fisher, returned six lettermen and one starter from last season’s team that finished with a 34-3 overall record, won the MW regular season and tournament titles and reached the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament. This season, the Aztecs have leaned on strong defensive play, ranking No. 20 nationally and second in the MW in field-goal percentage defense (38.9%). The squad also is No. 3 in the MW in average rebounding margin (+4.0).

SDSU boasts two of the MW’s top-3 scorers in junior guard Chase Tapley (16.0 ppg) and sophomore forward Jamaal Franklin (15.7 ppg). Sophomore guard Xavier Thames also averages double figures at 10.7 ppg and ranks third in the MW in assists (4.74 apg). Franklin is the team’s leading rebounder, and the top rebounding guard in the MW (No. 3 player overall), with an average of 7.0 rpg. Tapley is the top player in the league in steals (2.09 spg) and ranks 40th nationally in the category.

San Diego State owns an 11-4 edge in the all-time series with TCU. Each game but the first matchup (1984) has come with the squads as conference rivals, including the last 11 in the MW. The Aztecs own a 10-1 record in those contests and are 6-2 against the Frogs in San Diego. TCU has dropped six straight in the series and 11 of the last 12.

TCU vs. San Diego State – Last 10 Meetings
Date        W/L    Score    Site
Jan. 31, 2007          L    71-76    Fort Worth
March 3, 2007          L    51-56    San Diego
Jan. 5, 2008          L    57-64    San Diego
Feb. 9, 2008    W    68-62    Fort Worth
Jan. 28, 2009          L    50-67    San Diego
Feb. 28, 2009          L    77-79 (OT)    Fort Worth
Jan. 16, 2010          L    62-67    San Diego
Feb. 16, 2010          L    51-68    Fort Worth
Jan. 5, 2011          L    53-66    Fort Worth
Feb. 5, 2011          L    53-60    San Diego


TCU hung tough, but No. 6 San Diego State held off the Frogs late during a 60-53 Aztec win Feb. 6, 2011 in San Diego.

TCU kept the game within reach all evening and was able to climb within five points late on a 3-pointer by Hank Thorns with 1:07 remaining, but SDSU held the Frogs at bay by forcing its way to the charity stripe. Forward Billy White answered Thorns’ trey by drawing a shooting foul after draining the shot clock. He made both shots, and guard James Rahon later added two more to put the game out of reach inside the final 15 seconds.
White, who scored a game-high 19 points, was a force inside in the second half, making his way to the stripe for a 9-of-10 showing in the period alone. He helped lead the Aztecs to an 18-of-24 free-throw effort, while the Frogs reached the line only nine times, making six. Thorns led TCU with 16 points and added eight assists in 40 minutes of action. Greg Hill also reached double figures, matching a season high with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range.


TCU returned to its winning ways Wednesday, posting a 58-52 victory over Wyoming at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Craig Williams led the Frogs on the scoreboard with 13 points.

TCU continued its season trend of winning close games, taking another one over the Cowboys. The Frogs led by as many as 11 points after a 14-2 run pushed the score to 49-38 with 9:11 remaining. The advantage would soon evaporate, as Wyoming answered TCU’s stretch with a 9-0 run of its own to cut the score to 49-47 with about six-and-a-half minutes to play.

Like they have done all season, the Frogs responded to adversity in the late moments. Williams sank a huge 3-pointer, only his third of the season, to give TCU a six-point lead with 5:09 remaining, then made a great pass to Connell Crossland on the following possession that resulted in a layup and a 55-47 edge. The Frog defense also came alive late after seeing UW shoot 52.0% in the first half. Wyoming was limited to only five points in the final 6:29 and 30.4% shooting overall in the second half. A late layup by Hank Thorns clinched the victory by pushing the lead to 58-50 with 42.5 seconds remaining.

TCU leaned on a strong offensive performance inside from the tandem of Williams and Adrick McKinney, who combined for 21 of the team’s 58 points and 12 rebounds.  Also reaching double figures in scoring for the Frogs were Hank Thorns, who totaled 12 points, and Amric Fields, who chipped in 10. The two players combined for five 3-pointers on eight attempts.

* TCU extended its home winning streak to five games for the first time since it won the opening five contests of the 2010-11 season.

* TCU has won three straight conference home games for the first time since the first three of the 2008-09 season.

* TCU improved to 11-1 when holding the lead at halftime this season, 8-0 when shooting 45.0 percent or better from the field and 8-0 when winning the rebounding battle.

* TCU won for the sixth consecutive time in Fort Worth against the Cowboys. The Frogs are 7-1 all-time at home vs. Wyoming.

* TCU notched its 10th win at the DMC this season, its first season with 10 home wins since 2008-09 and the 12th time in program history overall.

* The Frogs held Wyoming to only 30.4% shooting (7-of-23) in the second half after the squad made 52.0% (13-of-25) of its shots in the opening period.

* Hank Thorns climbed to within one assist of moving into a tie for 10th place on TCU’s career assists list with former Frog Brent Atwater, who totaled 321 from 1991 through 1993.

* Garlon Green made four straight free throws to open the game before missing his first since Jan. 4 with 1:45 remaining. Green’s streak of consecutive makes reached 16 straight.

* Craig Williams, who scored 13 points, led the Frogs in scoring for the third time this season.

* Thorns, who entered the game leading the Mountain West in 3-pointers per game in league play (2.80 3pg), went 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.