Jan. 28, 2005
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Setting the Scene
Just two weeks after shocking the Memphis Tigers by a 61-59 final in Tennessee, the TCU Horned Frogs again hook up with the Tigers, this time at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The Horned Frogs return home after a pair of tough back-to-back losses on the road. After playing four of their first six league contests oustide Fort Worth, TCU has four of its next five at home, where the team is 10-1 and has won seven in a row. A victory would give the Horned Frogs a 4-3 record through seven league games, which would match the school's second-best conference start in the past decade.
Memphis has won nine of the previous 10 meetings all time between the two teams, but the Horned Frogs own a 1-0 advantage this year after nabbing a 61-59 win at Memphis exactly two weeks ago. TCU has lost all four games played in Fort Worth, but by an average of just 7.0 points per contest. Last year at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, the Frogs suffered a tough 75-69 home loss to the NCAA Tournament-bound Tigers after Memphis, down 67-62, closed the game with a 13-2 run.
TCU Individuals vs. Memphis
Corey Santee has scored 13.1 points and averaged 4.6 assists per game in seven meetings with the Tigers and has been held to single digits in points twice. Marcus Shropshire has averaged 10.0 points in his three games against Memphis. Aaron Curtis (6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds) and Femi Ibikunle (3.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game) have also been productive in three career games against Memphis. Nile Murry had a 17-point effort vs. Memphis in his first career contest.
The Most Recent Meeting vs. Memphis
Corey Santee hit a running 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds remaining to lift TCU to a 61-59 victory over Memphis on Saturday. The Horned Frogs (12-5, 2-1 Conference USA) persevered despite shooting 33.3 percent and squandering a 12-point second-half lead. Memphis (9-8, 2-1) had won two straight, but also struggled from the field, shooting 34.6 percent for the game. The Tigers, who trailed 30-21 at the half, rallied behind Sean Banks. Banks, who had 13 points, triggered a 21-8 run to give the Tigers a 53-52 lead. Banks, a preseason Wooden Award candidate relegated to second-team duty since late December, scored 12 points during the run. Duane Erwin hit two free throws with 2:24 left to give Memphis a 56-54 lead, but an errant pass by Banks a minute later led to a three-point play by Nile Murry to make it 58-56 with 1:21 left. Erwin tied it with a 15-foot jumper with 1:07 left to set up the dramatic finish. The Tigers had an opportunity on their final possession, but guard Anthony Rice - playing with a broken nose sustained in Thursday's win over Marquette - missed a three-point attempt with 7 seconds left. Santee, who finished with 13 points, took the inbound pass, dashed up court and hit the game-winning shot. The Horned Frog bench received a technical foul for leaving the bench area and celebrating prematurely. Banks hit 1 of 2 free throws, but Memphis couldn't get a shot off in the final 0.2 seconds. TCU, which had never beaten Memphis in nine previous meetings, fell behind 5-0 before going on a 17-5 run to take control of the game until the closing minutes. Murry scored 17 points for TCU, while Rodney Carney added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis.
The TCU Horned Frogs battled hard but came up short on Wednesday night at Charlotte, as the 49ers claimed a 94-87 victory. Charlotte was on top for all but the first minute of the contest and led by as many as 14 on two occasions, but the Horned Frogs would not surrender. TCU buried 15-of-35 three-point attempts, the fourth-most made threes in a game in school history. Both teams were on fire from the field, making more than 50 percent of their shots and combined for 25 made treys. Four Frogs reached double figures, led by Marcus Shropshire's season-high 21-point effort.
If You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It
TCU, 1-3 this year in league road matchups, is now 6-22 (.214) all time in Conference USA road contests since joining the league in 2002. TCU's victories are over UAB and Tulane in 2002; Houston, Marquette and USF in 2004; and Memphis in 2005. TCU has had just one .500 or better league road record in the past 12 seasons, owning a 30-63 record (.323) over that time. The Charlotte game was the fourth road matchup in the first six league contests for TCU, all against 2004 postseason tournament teams. Of TCU's first five C-USA road games, four of the teams shared the league's regular season title last year.
The Frogs are 3-3 in league play, a figure which equals the second best six-game conference start in the past decade. The only time in the last 10 years that the Frogs have been better than .500 through six conference contests was in 1998 (6-0) with a team that went on to the school's most recent NCAA Tournament.
Is It a Tough Road to Hoe, A Tough Row to Hoe or a Tough Road to Hold?
Whatever the expression is, the Horned Frogs have seven-game road stretch that rivals any in the country in terms of difficulty. Since Dec. 9, the Frogs have played at Kansas, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Memphis, Saint Louis and Charlotte. Still to come is a game at DePaul next Tuesday. Six of the seven schools made the NCAA Tournament last year, while Saint Louis reached the NIT. In addition, those seven teams are currently a combined 84-41 (.672) overall and 59-15 (.797) at home this season.
Under 50 Wasn't Nifty
The 48 points scored against the Saint Louis Billikens on Saturday night were the fewest for the Horned Frogs since a 48-43 loss to the Princeton Tigers on Dec. 28, 1993, at the NDB Hoosier Classic in Indianapolis, Ind. In the two meetings with the Billikens over the past two seasons, TCU has averaged just 49.0 points per game in a pair of losses.
More Than 50 In a Half
TCU had a 53-point second half at Charlotte on Wednesday night, which was the second-highest scoring half by the Horned Frogs this season. The only time TCU had more was 54 in the first half against Maryland-Eastern Shore. TCU drained 11 three-pointers in the second half vs. Charlotte.
The Big Threes
TCU's 15 three-pointers at Charlotte were the fourth-most in school history and the most ever by a Horned Frog team outside Fort Worth. TCU's 35 attempts tied for the third-most in Frog history. TCU has hit 10 or more threes on five occasions this season, but had made just 16 total over the previous three games. In addition, TCU's 15 successful threes were as many as the number of total field goals the team made at Saint Louis.
Enjoying Home Cookin'
TCU is giving up 77.7 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 seven of the nine 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. 47.2 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' seven losses, teams have shot 49.6 percent (196-for-395). The Horned Frogs are scoring 9.9 points per game higher when the team wins (76.5 vs. 66.6) and are allowing 18.1 more points per game in losses (79.9 vs. 61.8).
We Want A Hundred
Several TCU players have closed or are closing in on significant milestones regarding the number 100. Against Charlotte, Marcus Shropshire played in his 100th career game (coincidentally it was his 50th career start). Meanwhile, Corey Valsin (98) and Marcus Sloan (96) are also honing in on the century mark in games played at TCU. Corey Santee has already played in 108 games for the Horned Frogs, but with 98 starts, is just two starting assignments shy of 100.