TCU Continues MW Road Schedule at Air Force

Feb. 21, 2012

Game #27
TCU (15-11; 5-5 MW) at AIR FORCE (13-11; 3-7 MW)


Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012  //  6 p.m. MST  //  USAFA, Colo.  //  Clune Arena (5,858)
Television: The Mtn. (DirecTV ch. 616)  //  Talent: Dan Gutowski (pxp), Dave Bollwinkel (analyst)
Radio: 1460 AM (KCLE), 88.7 FM (KTCU)  //  Talent: Brian Estridge (pxp), John Denton (analyst)
Internet: (radio, GameTracker)
Series Record:
Air Force leads, 8-7  //  Last Meeting: Jan. 25, 2012 in Fort Worth (W, 59-56)
TCU Head Coach: Jim Christian (Rhode Island, ‘88)    
      Record at TCU: 53-68 (.438) in 4th season  //  Overall: 191-126 (.602) in 10th season
AF Head Coach: Dave Pilipovich (Thiel College, ‘86)
      Record at AF: 2-1 (.667) in 1st season  //  Overall: 2-1 (.667) in 1st season

FORT WORTH--TCU heads back out on the road this week when it looks for the season sweep of Air Force Wednesday at the Falcons’ Clune Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo. Tip-off for the contest, which will be televised by The MountainWest Sports Network (The Mtn.), is scheduled for 6 p.m. MST.

The Horned Frogs, 15-11 overall this season and tied for fourth in the Mountain West standings with Colorado State at 5-5, aim to return to their winning ways following Saturday’s one-point road setback at Boise State. TCU is still looking for its first road victory in MW action and has dropped seven straight decisions overall away from Fort Worth after starting the season 2-0 in true road contests.

The Frogs need only one more victory in their final four games to guarantee a winning regular season for the first time since 2004-05. This team’s 15 victories already rank as the most for the program since that same squad that reached the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Air Force brings momentum into Wednesday’s matchup after winning two straight contests. The squad, 13-11 overall and tied with Boise State for seventh in the MW with a 3-7 league mark, is 2-1 under interim head coach Dave Pilipovich with wins over No. 13 San Diego State and Wyoming. The win over the Aztecs marked the Falcons’ first over a ranked opponent since the 1991-92 season and its first-ever against a top-20 team. Air Force is 10-5 at home in 2011-12.

TCU will aim for its first season sweep of Air Force since the 2009-10 after taking this season’s previous matchup in Fort Worth by a 59-56 margin. The Falcons own an 8-7 edge in the all-time series, although the Frogs have won four of seven meetings in Fort Worth.

Wednesday’s matchup marks TCU’s 18th televised game of the season and its 14th on The Mtn. Dan Gutowsky (play-by-play) and Dave Bollwinkel (analyst) will handle play-by-play duties for the second straight contest. Fans can follow the contest on the radio throughout the Metroplex on 1460 AM 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,

* TCU has made 12 or more 3-pointers in four of its last five games, the first such stretch in program history.

* The Frogs’ 58 treys mark the most for the team in a five-game stretch since the 2000-01 season.

* TCU entered conference play ranked dead last among the eight Mountain West teams averaging only 5.67 3pg, but has hit 9.20 3pg in MW contests, which is tops in the league.

* The team also ranks No. 2 in the MW with a 39.3% 3-point shooting rate in league games after entering conference play ranked No. 7 (34.4%).

* Craig Williams is 11-of-14 on 3-point tries over the last three games after entering the stretch 4-of-22 on the season.

* Williams has scored at least 13 points in four of the last five games with two 20-plus point efforts. His 73 points over the five-game stretch mark a career high.

* TCU is forcing an average of 16.5 turnovers per game, 1.2 more than any other Mountain West team.

* TCU is No. 2 in the MW in average turnover margin (+2.31) and No. 3 in the MW in scoring (71.5 ppg) and 3-point shooting percentage (36.9%).

* TCU ranks among the nation’s top-100 teams in average turnover margin (49th), 3-point shooting rate (60th), scoring (74th), 3-pointers made (87th) and assists (93rd).

* TCU already has its most victories in a season since the 2004-05 team went 21-15.

* TCU is 12-3 in games decided by six points or fewer, two more wins than the previous school record for victories within the margin. The Frogs have outscored opponents by only 41 points in the 12 close wins compared to a margin of 120 points in their other three victories.

* Hank Thorns is tied for No. 1 in the MW in minutes (33.54 mpg); No. 4 in 3-pointers (2.23 3pg), assists (4.62 apg) and 3-point percentage (40.3%); No. 6 in scoring (13.4 ppg); No. 7 in assist/turnover ratio (1.52); and No. 10 in steals (1.66 spg).

* In MW play, Thorns is No. 1 in 3’s made (3.20 3pg), No. 2 in 3-point shooting (45.7%) and No. 4 in scoring (14.9 ppg).

* Thorns has made at least one 3-pointer in 14 consecutive games, a career-long streak that ranks as the second-longest active streak for all MW players.

* J.R. Cadot is No. 4 in the MW in offensive rebounds (2.54 rpg); No. 5 in the MW in total rebounds (6.7 rpg); No. 6 in defensive rebounds (4.15 rpg); No. 8 in steals (1.54 spg) and No. 18 in scoring (10.5 ppg).

* Kyan Anderson, who is averaging 9.7 ppg in MW play, is the only freshman ranked among the league’s top-20 scorers (t-No. 19) in conference action. He also is the top freshman in minutes played (No. 6; 35.10 mpg) and is No. 8 player in the MW in assists for all contests (2.88) apg).

* Anderson’s 75 assists mark the most by a TCU freshman since Corey Santee posted a freshman-record 180 in 2001-02.

* Garlon Green is No. 19 in the MW in scoring (10.2 ppg).

* TCU is 10-0 when holding teams to under 47.6% shooting from the field and 9-0 when outrebounding the opponent.

No.    Name    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Yr.    P - R - APG        
  2    Connell Crossland    F    6-7    195    Jr.    2.1 - 3.1 - 0.8
  5    Kyan Anderson    G    5-11    165    Fr.    7.8 - 1.5 - 2.9
10    Hank Thorns    G    5-9    165    Sr.    13.4 - 2.4 - 4.6
23    J.R. Cadot    G    6-5    210    Sr.    10.5 - 6.7 - 1.5#
41    Craig Williams    F    6-8    265    Sr.    8.2 - 3.9 - 0.5

No.    Name    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Yr.    P - R - APG        
  4     Kamryn Williams     F     6-4     195     Fr.     4.6 - 3.0 - 0.9^
  5     Mike Fitzgerald     F     6-6     210     Jr.     10.5 - 3.8 - 0.8#
10     Todd Fletcher     G     6-2     185     Jr.     8.2 - 2.6 - 3.3
14     Michael Lyons     G     6-6     198     Jr.     16.0 - 4.1 - 1.4^
34     Taylor Broekhuis     C     6-10     220     Jr.     9.0 - 5.0 - 1.9

^-blocks per game;     #-steals per game;    
*-players determined by starters from each team’s previous game

Air Force, 13-11 overall this season and tied for seventh in the Mountain West standings with Boise State with a 3-7 league mark, enters Wednesday’s contest riding a two-game winning streak. The Falcons own a 10-5 home record and are 1-4 in MW play. The squad features a young starting lineup that includes four juniors and a freshman.

The Falcons rank No. 2 in the conference in 3-point field-goal defense (30.0%), No. 3 in scoring defense (59.4 ppg), field-goal defense (40.1%), assists (13.83 apg) and assist/turnover ratio (1.08). The team is No. 8 in the MW in scoring (61.7 ppg).

Junior guard Michael Lyons leads the team in scoring and ranks tied for second in the conference with a 16.0-point average, while he is No. 3 in overall field-goal percentage (47.7%). Junior forward Mike Fitzgerald also averages double figures (10.5 ppg). Junior center Taylor Broekhuis, who is tied for No. 8 in the MW in rebounding (5.0 rpg), leads the team’s efforts on the glass. Junior guard Todd Fletcher (3.33 apg) ranks No. 7 in the league in assists and is No. 3 in assist/turnover ratio (1.70).

Air Force owns an 8-7 lead in the all-time series with TCU after TCU took this season’s previous meeting buy a 59-56 count in Fort Worth. The Frogs have won five of the last seven meetings overall and two of their last three in Colorado Springs after dropping their first four decisions at Clune Arena. The first game between the two programs was played on Jan. 21, 1999, a 114-87 TCU win in Fort Worth.

TCU vs. Air Force – Last 10 Games
Date        W/L    Score    Site
Feb. 24, 2007    W    71-66    Fort Worth
Feb. 2, 2008    L    46-56    Fort Worth
March 5, 2008    L    36-57    Colorado Springs
Jan. 17, 2009    W    64-57    Colorado Springs
Feb. 18, 2009    W    62-50    Fort Worth
Jan. 6, 2010    W    59-50    Fort Worth
Feb. 6, 2010    W    65-51    Colorado Springs
Jan. 29, 2011    L    65-66 (ot)    Fort Worth
March 2, 2011    L    65-70    Colorado Springs
Jan. 25, 2012    W    59-56    Fort Worth

Hank Thorns scored a then-career-high 22 points and TCU came up with big defensive stops late again during a 59-56 victory over Air Force Jan. 25 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Just like during its big comeback win over Boise State in the previous contest, TCU came up big on the defensive end of the court late in the game. The Frogs held the Falcons scoreless for the final four-plus minutes following a traditional 3-point play by forward Mike Fitzgerald at the 4:05 mark that cut TCU’s lead to one point, 57-56. Thorns recorded a long jumper with 2:59 remaining to push his squad ahead by three points, and the Frogs were able to hold from there. Falcon guard Todd Fletcher missed a tying 3-point opportunity at the buzzer as TCU survived with yet another close victory.

Thorns came up big again for the Frogs, connecting on 9-of-12 field goals on the evening, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. The output surpassed his previous high total of 21 points, which he had recorded on three different occasions.

J.R. Cadot experienced his best offensive night in well over a month, scoring 13 points and going a perfect 7-for-7 at the free-throw line. Cadot also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds while collecting three assists, three blocked shots and a pair of steals. Craig Williams and Garlon Green added seven points each for TCU, which posted its fourth consecutive victory at the DMC.

Anthony Drmic sank two free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining to boost the Broncos past TCU Saturday at Taco Bell Arena, 65-64. Craig Williams led the Horned Frogs with a double-double featuring game highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds.

TCU trailed by five points with just over three minutes remaining before mounting yet another late comeback. Garlon Green started off the rally with a 3-pointer before Hank Thorns scored on a jumper to tie the game at 59-59 with two minutes remaining.

The game continued to go back-and-forth in the final minute. Williams gave the Frogs a three-point edge with only 1:18 left by hitting his fifth 3 of the game, but BSU guard Drew Wiley answered with a trey of his own on the following trip to knot the game up at 62-all. Thorns gave TCU its last lead on a pair of free throws with 31.7 seconds left, and Drmic cut the lead to one with only 8.1 seconds remaining by hitting 1-of-2 shots at the stripe after being fouled while driving to the hoop.

TCU had a chance to extend its lead after being fouled on the in-bounds play but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free-throw opportunity. The miss proved to be costly, as Boise rebounded the ball and Drmic was fouled again driving to the hoop with 0.9 seconds left, leading to the winning points.

Williams played a solid game for the Frogs, hitting 5-of-7 shots from 3-point range to lead TCU to a 12-of-25 showing from beyond the arc. Amric Fields chipped in 13 points off the bench while going 3-for-3 from outside. Green also added three treys while finishing with nine points and five rebounds. J.R. Cadot totaled eight points and five boards, and Thorns scored seven points and added five assists.

Derrick Marks led Boise State with 13 points, including 11 in the second half, while he chipped in a team-high seven rebounds. Kenny Buckner (12) and Drmic (10) also scored in double figures.

* TCU drilled 12 shots from 3-point range for the fourth time in the last five games. The Frogs lead the Mountain West in 3’s made in conference play.

* TCU dropped only its third decision in 15 games this season decided by six points or fewer.

* Craig Williams tied a career-high with five 3-pointers. He finished with a game-high 21 points, his third 20-plus-point effort this season.

* Williams added a game-high 10 rebounds while posting his second double-double of the season.

* Hank Thorns extended his career-long streak of consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer to 14. The figure ranks as the second-longest active streak among Mountain West players.

* Thorns dished out five assists and is now only eight helpers shy of tying former Frog Jaime Dixon (353) for sixth place on TCU’s career assists list.

* Garlon Green matched his career best in 3-pointers with three for the 12th time as a Frog.

TCU has been a strong 3-point shooting team this season, especially during Mountain West play.

* TCU has made 12 or more treys four times in the last five contests, the first time in program history the squad has accomplished the feat.

* TCU’s 58 buckets from beyond the arc marks the most for the Frogs over a five-game stretch since the 2000-01 season.

* TCU entered conference play ranked dead last among the eight Mountain West teams averaging only 5.67 3pg, but has hit 9.20 3pg in MW contests, which is tops in the league. The team’s shooting rate of 39.3% in conference play ranks No. 2.

* Hank Thorns is No. 1 in 3-pointers (3.20 3pg) and No. 2 in 3-point percentage (45.7%) in MW games. He ranks No. 4 (2.23 3pg; 40.7%) in both categories for all contests.

* Thorns has made at least one trey in 14 consecutive games, a career-long streak that ranks as the second-longest active streak for all MW players. Only Wyoming’s Luke Martinez (22) owns a longer current streak.

* J.R. Cadot and Craig Williams have picked up his game from outside recently. Williams is 11-of-14 on 3-point tries over the last three games after entering the stretch 4-of-22 on the season.Cadot is 8-of-16 over the last four contests after a 6-of-24 start.