Horned Frogs Down North Texas 87-80
Dec. 10, 2002
DENTON, Texas -- The TCU Horned Frogs came out of Denton with an 87-80 victory over the North Texas Mean Green on Tuesday night. The victory improved the Frogs' record to 4-2, while the Mean Green fell to 3-3 on the year.
It was a tale of two halves for both teams offensively. Each squad looked sluggish in the opening stanza, as the Frogs shot just 34 percent from the field and the Mean Green connected on 36 percent of their shots. A three-pointer by Bingo Merriex with less than two seconds remaining meant that the teams entered the locker room deadlocked at 29-29. The 29 points were the fewest by TCU in any half this season.
However, the Frogs doubled their scoring output in the second half, putting up a season-best 58 points following intermission. Merriex picked up right where he left off in the second half, and ultimately finished the contest with 20 points. He nailed two three-pointers in the early stages of the second half, and gave the Frogs a 42-39 advantage at the 15:36 mark, a lead that they would not relinquish.
His shooting became contagious, and TCU's guard tandem of Corey Santee and Junior Blount took over. The two combined to score 22 of TCU's 24 points over a six-minute period midway through the second half, and turned a three-point TCU advantage into a double-figure bulge. The Frogs' biggest lead of the game was 66-54 with 7:57 left to play.
The Mean Green did not quit, but the Frogs kept at least a six-point lead the rest of the way. TCU shot 55 percent (16-for-29) from the floor in the second half and made 7-of-11 three-point attempts (63 percent). A total of 52 fouls, 26 on each team, were called in the game.
Blount finished with a game-high 24 points, while Santee added 22. Merriex and Jamal Brown led the team in rebounding with 12 apiece. Merriex recorded his second double-double of the season, and 11th of his career.
The Horned Frogs are next in action on Saturday, Dec. 14 against the Louisiana-Monroe Indians. Tipoff is set for 1:05 p.m. at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.