Jan. 21, 2005
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TCU trails the all-time series with Saint Louis by a 9-1 count, and lost the only meeting between the two teams since the Horned Frogs joined Conference USA for the 2002 league season. Last year's game resulted in a 10-point win for the visiting Billikens (60-50). The Horned Frogs' lone win over the Billikens was an 88-69 victory in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on Feb. 26, 1992. TCU is 0-7 all-time in the Gateway to the West city, losing by an average of 15.4 points per game.
TCU Individuals vs. Saint Louis
Marcus Shropshire scored 17 points in his only lifetime meeting with Saint Louis, but was limited to just 4-of-16 shooting from the field. Backcourt mate Corey Santee had a 12-point performance vs. the Billikens, but was just 5-for-16 from the floor. Aaron Curtis was productive off the bench with seven points and six rebounds, but made only 1-of-7 three-point attempts.
The Most Recent Meeting vs. Saint Louis
The TCU Horned Frogs (4-8, 0-1 C-USA) opened the 2004 Conference USA season with a 60-50 loss to the Saint Louis Billikens (8-4, 1-0 C-USA) on Jan. 7 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The Horned Frogs' 50 points were the fewest by the team in a game since 1993. Marcus Shropshire opened the contest with a pair of three-pointers and TCU staked itself out to a 13-4 lead in the first five-plus minutes. However, an 8-0 run by the Billikens over the next five minutes cut the Frogs' edge to one at 13-12. Saint Louis' first lead, 17-16, came at the 7:37 mark. The Billikens enjoyed the advantage for much of the rest of the half, but a putback by Aaron Curtis with 12 seconds remaining gave the Frogs a 25-24 halftime lead. Curtis scored the final seven points of the half for TCU. Saint Louis tallied the first eight points of the second half to take a 32-25 lead and the Billikens never looked back. It was a two-possession game in the final minute, but Shropshire misfired on a pair of three point attempts that would have cut a six-point deficit to three. Saint Louis then iced the game with a pair of free throws and a breakaway dunk. Shropshire led TCU with 17 points, while Corey Santee chipped in 12. TCU shot a mere 31 percent from the field, while SLU connected at a 46 percent clip, including 58 percent of its second-half shots.
Corey Santee arrived late to the game after battling an illness to lead the Horned Frogs (13-5, 3-1 Conference USA) to a 58-51 victory over the Houston Cougars on Wednesday night at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Santee entered the game midway through the first half and scored 10 points in 23 minutes of work. The Horned Frogs had just eight points in the first 10-plus minutes before his arrival. Marcus Shropshire paced the team with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field. Femi Ibikunle had his second career double-double, scoring a career-best 12 points and grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds. Lanny Smith scored 24 points for Houston (11-7, 2-2), and was 9-of-20 from the field. The Horned Frogs held the Cougars' top scorer, Andre Owens (18.7 ppg), scoreless for the first time in his career. TCU got to the free throw line 33 times compared to just seven for Houston and erased a 25-22 halftime deficit.
Lone Star Statement
After downing Houston 58-51 on Wednesday, TCU has now won eight of its last nine and 11 of its last 13 games against teams from the state of Texas over the past two years. Prior to that, the Frogs had lost four of six to Texas schools. TCU has played six games against teams from the Lone Star State this season.
Streaks and Stones
TCU, riding a three-game winning skein in league play, had won three straight Conference USA games just once previously in the school's four years in the league (Feb. 6-12, 2002). TCU has never won four consecutive C-USA contests. At 3-1, the Horned Frogs have moved two games over .500 in C-USA play for the first time ever. TCU has won seven of its past eight and eight of its last 10 overall.
Some Tough Losses
TCU's five losses on the season have come to teams that own a combined record of 67-16 (.807) to date: Kansas (14-0), Louisville (15-3), Vanderbilt (11-6), Old Dominion (16-2) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (11-5). In addition, four of the five losses were on the road to those teams, with the lone home game coming against Old Dominion.
Lucky Number 13
On Jan. 19, TCU already recorded its 13th victory of the season, eclipsing last year's win total of 12 and the 2002-03 figure of nine. The only time since the 1999-00 season that the Frogs reached the 13-win mark earlier in the year came in the 2000-01 season (Jan. 13). TCU has won 13 games earlier in the season just twice since the 1992-93 season (1997-98 and 1999-00).
10-4 Over and Out
The Frogs completed the nonconference portion of the 2004-05 campaign with a 10-4 record, the team's best nonleague record since 2001-02. TCU was picked to finish ninth in the Conference USA Preseason Coaches Poll, with all eight teams listed above the Frogs having played in the 2004 postseason. Four of TCU's first six league games are on the road. The four road games are against Louisville, Memphis, Saint Louis and Charlotte, teams that combined to go 51-8 at home last season, good for an .864 winning percentage.
You Gotta Know When to Hold `Em
TCU is holding opponents to 67.3 points per game, which is the lowest figure since the 1991-92 squad limited teams to 66.3 points per contest. In addition, the Horned Frogs are forcing opponents into just 42.1 percent shooting, which is the lowest percentage allowed since the 1985-86 team (41.5 percent).
Taking A Look at the RPIs
TCU's current RPI ranking is 43rd according to RealTimeRPI.com (as of Jan. 20). The Frogs' strength of schedule is currently rated 79th in the nation. Current RPI top 50 teams on the TCU schedule include: No. 1 Kansas, No. 26 Cincinnati, No. 29 DePaul, No. 34 Louisville, No. 38 Vanderbilt, No. 44 Marquette, No. 45 Texas Tech and No. 48 Old Dominion. TCU is the fourth-highest rated team in Conference USA.
Keeping the Speed Limit at 55
TCU has held five of its last 10 opponents to 55 or fewer points. Prior to this year, the Horned Frogs had limited just five of its last 182 opponents to that total dating back to the 1997-98 campaign. The last time TCU held at least five opponents to 55 or fewer in the same season was in the 1991-92 season (8 times).
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Since starting out the 2003-04 season with a 4-8 record, the Horned Frogs have gone 20-14 (.589). Included in that mark are a pair of wins last year over Marquette, a 25-point upset victory over 10th-ranked Louisville during the 2004 Conference USA season and a road win this year at Memphis. TCU went 7-9 in conference play last year in a league that received six NCAA Tournament bids and two NIT nods.
Enoying Home Cookin'
TCU is giving up 78.4 points per away contest as compared to just 60.3 points per home game. Grambling State is the only one of the 11 visitors to break the 70-point plateau against the Horned Frogs in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum this season, while six of the seven teams have scored at least 70 on the Frogs in games played outside Fort Worth. Opponents are shooting nine percent poorer against TCU at DMC this year (38.8 percent vs. 47.5 percent). The Horned Frogs are 10-1 at home this season, outscoring their opposition by 15.7 points per game.
The Line Between Winning and Losing
In TCU's 13 victories, the opposition is just 287-for-741 (.387) from the field, but in the Frogs' five losses, teams have shot 50.9 percent (147-for-289). The Horned Frogs are scoring 10.3 points per game higher when the team wins (76.5 vs. 66.2) and are allowing 20.0 more points per game in losses (81.8 vs. 61.8).