TCU men's defense produces second straight MWC win

Posted Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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For the first few minutes Wednesday, TCU men's basketball had that here we go again look to it.

Air Force led 6-0 three minutes into the game on three layups against a slow-moving Horned Frogs defense.

Timeout, TCU.

TCU coach Jim Christian, forced to use another early timeout as he did against Boise State on Saturday, glared at his players, hands on his hips, as they walked toward the bench.

TCU woke up and held off the Falcons 59-56 in front of an announced crowd of 4,570 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Neither team scored in the final 2:58.

TCU (12-7, 2-2 in the MWC) won consecutive league games for the first time in three years. Last season the Frogs were 1-15 in the MWC. They also eclipsed their overall win total from last year.

Their success largely comes from the defensive effort. After the early timeout, the Frogs went on a 10-4 run to tie the game.

The Frogs took their first lead, and never trailed again, after J.R. Cadot took a steal in for a layup and was fouled. His free throw put TCU up 33-30 with 17 minutes left.

Air Force (11-7, 1-3) tied it for the last time at 49-49 with 9:28 remaining. Craig Williams put the Frogs up for good on the ensuing possession after completing a three-point play.

Air Force pulled to within 57-56 on Mike Fitzgerald's three-point play with 4:05 to play, but Hank Thorns' pull-up jumper with 2:58 left gave TCU a three-point cushion.

The Falcons had the ball with 16 seconds left but their 3-point shot at the buzzer was wide right.

During the final, scoreless 2:58, the Frogs' defense came up huge. Cadot, who led the Frogs with seven rebounds, pulled down an important defensive board for the Frogs. Thorns, who led the Frogs with a career-high 22 points, took a charge after hitting the jumper that put TCU up by three. With 46 seconds left, TCU forced a shot-clock violation.

"That's two games in a row now where when we had to get stops, we got stops," Christian said. "We haven't lost at home yet in the league and that's a good sign for us."

Another good sign is Cadot's play. He finished with 13 points, three assists, three blocks and two steals. It was his most productive game since he scored 18 against Texas Tech Dec. 6.

"I took my foot off the gas pedal for a little bit," Cadot said. "It's a mindset. I was able to get over my slump and it paid off."

Stefan Stevenson


Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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