Nov. 21, 2010
Final Stats |
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—TCU used some strong second-half defense and a few clutch shots down the stretch to overcome previously unbeaten Bradley, 74-68, Sunday in the Frogs’ second game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic held at the MassMutual Center.
TCU improved to 3-1 for the first time since 2007-08, when the squad opened the season 4-0. Bradley dropped to 4-1.
With the scored tied at 62-62 with just 1:22 remaining, junior guard Hank Thorns hit a clutch 3-pointer to regain the lead for the Frogs in a contest featuring six ties and 10 lead changes. Junior guard Ronnie Moss had helped TCU overcome a four-point deficit only minutes earlier with three straight buckets, including a coast-to-coast layup after stealing the ball from Bradley’s Andrew Warren.
Following Thorns’ big trey, TCU got a crucial stop featuring a blocked shot by junior guard J.R. Cadot, then iced eight consecutive free throws to put the game out of reach. Thorns made four of the shots, while junior forward Nikola Gacesa and senior guard Greg Hill accounted for two each. For the game, the Frogs went 16-of-19 (84.2 percent) at the charity stripe.
Thorns notched his second career double-double, and second in three games, with 11 points and 10 assists. He reached double figures in helpers for the third time in TCU’s opening four contests. Seven of his points came in the crucial final 1:22 stretch.
Junior guard Sammy Yeager led TCU with a career-best 19 points, including 11 in the first half. He hit 8-of-13 field-goal attempts, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Moss added 16 points, six assists and two steals, while senior forward Nikola Gacesa, making his first start for TCU, recorded 11 points and four rebounds. Junior guard J.R. Cadot, who also made his first start as a Frog, had six points and team-best totals of eight boards and five steals, the most thefts by a TCU player since Zvonko Buljan recorded five against Air Force in 2008-09.
The Frogs were able to overcome a solid second-half performance by Bradley’s Warren, who hit 8-of-13 shots and scored 18 of his 24 points after halftime. He added a game-high 10 rebounds. Also reaching double figures in scoring for the Braves were Dodie Dunson, Walt Lemon Jr. and Sam Maniscalco, who each totaled 10 points.
Despite Warren’s second-half effort, the Frogs locked down on the rest of the Brave squad in the period, allowing only 36.4 percent shooting overall following a 55.0-percent showing in the opening stanza. The defensive energy helped make up for TCU’s struggles on the glass. Bradley totaled 10 offensive rebounds in the second half alone to keep the Frogs within reach.
TCU led by one point at the half, 32-31, and held Bradley scoreless for the first three minutes of the second half. The Frogs were able to build their lead to eight points, 48-40, before Warren took over with 12 straight Brave points, including a trio of 3-pointers.
The Frogs led by as many as five points in a back-and-forth opening period featuring two ties and four lead changes. Yeager staked TCU to its early advantage by leading an eight-point surge between the 12- and eight-minute marks with three field goals. The Frogs held the Braves scoreless for 4:36 during the stretch.
It looked as if TCU would take a four-point edge to the locker room after a Yeager trey with only four seconds remaining, but Maniscalco banked in a shot from mid-court at the buzzer to cut the Frog lead to 32-31 at the break.
TCU concludes its run at the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic Monday at 8 p.m. ET, when it takes on UMass at the MassMutual Center.