Horned Frogs Come Up Short Against No. 10 Creighton
Jan 26, 2003
By ERIC OLSON
OMAHA, Neb. - After an embarrassing loss to Evansville three days earlier, No. 10 Creighton was staring at a 12-point halftime deficit against TCU on Sunday.
"Coach DeVries was talking at half about how we needed to get our mojo back," center Brody Deren said, referring to assistant coach Darian DeVries. "That's what it was all about in the second half."
The Bluejays reverted to the form they showed in winning 16 of their first 17 games, outscoring the Horned Frogs 53-31 in the second half for an 89-79 victory.
Kyle Korver was 4-of-7 from 3-point range and scored 23 points as the Bluejays (17-2) avoided losing consecutive games to teams with sub-.500 records.
Korver, 1-for-12 in a 74-66 loss at Evansville on Thursday, scored seven points in the decisive three-minute stretch late in the game that saw the Bluejays extend a 78-77 lead to 87-77.
"This season has been so long," Korver said. "I've been in a funk for about 1½ weeks. We seemed to finally get going again in the second half."
TCU (7-10) threatened to end Creighton's 10-game home winning streak, leading the Bluejays by 15 points early in the second half.
"It was the story of our season," Horned Frogs coach Neil Dougherty said. "If we played 30- or 35-minute games, we'd probably have only one loss. We've got to play a complete game."
Creighton coach Dana Altman said his team struggled to find a rhythm.
"We were a step behind on everything," he said. "But as soon as we took them out of what they wanted to do, and a few of our shots went down, I thought we played awfully, awfully well."
The Bluejays shot 57.1 percent from the field, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range in the second half. TCU cooled to 45.8 percent after shooting 57.1 percent in the first half.
Larry House scored 18 points for Creighton, while Michael Lindeman had 13 and Deren added 12 points and nine rebounds.
Corey Santee led the Horned Frogs with 27 points and Bingo Merriex and Junior Blount each had 17.
With the score tied at 65, Korver went to the bench with his fourth foul with 9:06 left.
It was 77-77 when he returned 5½ minutes later. He scored five of Creighton's six points as it opened an 83-77 lead, and he added another basket as the bulge grew to 10 points.
"In the back of your mind, when you're down as far as we were, you start to think about what's going on," Korver said. "Our press picked us up, we made some adjustments and we found our way."
The Horned Frogs used a 20-2 run to open a 15-point lead 12 minutes into the game. Merriex hit two 3-pointers and Blount and Santee one each as TCU went ahead 26-11.
Korver hit two straight 3-pointers to pull the Bluejays within 44-34, but Merriex and Santee scored to give the Horned Frogs a 48-36 halftime lead.