Frogs Upend Wollongong Hawks, 120-117
Aug. 22, 2002
Wollongong, Australia - Bingo Merriex' three-pointer with two seconds left in the fourth quarter, lifted TCU to a 120-117 win over the Wollongong Hawks Thursday. With the win, the Frogs end the six-game Australia trip with a 3-3 record.
The night belonged to Merriex and Junior Blount as they combined to score 66 points, hitting a total of 10 three-pointers. Merriex' three-pointer was his third of the game as he scored 32 points with a game-high 14 rebounds. Blount scored a game-high 34 points, knocking down seven three-pointers. Blount, who also had six assists, scored 18 points in the first half and 16 in the second half.
In the fourth quarter, both teams knocked in huge shots down the stretch. Trailing by six points at the five minute mark, the Hawks' Damon Lowery hit a three-pointer to pull within three at 96-93. Blount then answered with a three-pointer of his own, raising the lead back to six points. A couple of possessions later, and the Frogs leading by two, Blount knocked down a short jumper to give TCU a 101-97 lead. The Hawks then scored four straight points to tie the game at 101. Sandwiched around a Wollongong basket, Blount again came up big, knocking down a pair of three-pointers to give the Frogs a five-point lead at 111-106.
The Hawk's Melvin Thomas knocked down a three-pointer, and then scored on a layup to cut the TCU lead to one point, 115-114. Merriex hit a short jumper with with 40 seconds remaining that gave the Frogs a three-point lead, 117-114. Thomas' three-pointer with24 seconds remaing knotted the game at 117.
Following a deflected pass, Blount took the inbounds pass with six seconds left and drove down the left side of the paint. When the Hawks double-teamed Blount, he kicked the ball out to Merriex, who scored the game-winning basket on a jump shot well beyond the international three-point line.
The Frogs exploded for 41 second-quarter points, erasing a five-point first quarter deficit. In the second quarter, the Frogs hit 17-of-29 shots, as the Frogs outscored the Hawks by 18 points. Blount scored 12 points in the quarter, and Merriex added 10.
TCU shot 47.4 percent for the game, and outrebounded the Hawks by a margin of 35 rebounds, 69-34. Marcus Sloan, starting for the first time in Australia, produced 12 points with 13 rebounds. Ronald Hobbs scored 13 and Nucleus Smith had 12 points.
Geordie Cullen led the Hawks with 30 points, while Thomas scored 27 points. Former Kansas State star Cortez Groves, playing for the Hawks for the first time, scored 15 points with seven assists.
The Frogs will depart Sydney on Friday, August 23, arriving in Dallas-Fort Worth on Friday evening.
Scoring: 1st Q-2nd Q-3rd Q-4th Q = Final