The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

March 9, 2013

Frogs stun Sooners

FORT WORTH, Texas — With a huge lead slipping away, senior Garlon Green wanted to make sure TCU finished its regular season with a rare victory in its first Big 12 season.

Green scored 18 points in his final home game, including a key 3-pointer late, and TCU survived a furious Oklahoma rally as the Horned Frogs snapped an eight-game losing streak by beating the Sooners 70-67 on Saturday.

TCU (11-20, 2-16 Big 12) led by 25 early in the second half before Oklahoma stormed back. The Sooners scored 16 straight points to get within 59-58 with 4:27 left.

That’s when Green stepped in to stop the run and help preserve TCU’s first victory since upsetting No. 4 Kansas on Feb. 6.

Freshman Charles Hill Jr. drove into the lane and kicked a pass out to Green, who calmly sank a 3-pointer to push TCU’s lead to 62-58 with 3:53 left. That basket ended a scoreless drought that lasted more than 7 minutes.

“It means a lot. I’ll remember that the rest of my life,” said Green, who also had a dunk with 18.3 seconds left. “You’ll remember whether you do good or bad (on senior day) the rest of your life.”  

Oklahoma (20-10, 11-7) had a chance to send the game to overtime on its final possession. Sam Grooms missed a 3-pointer from the left corner at the buzzer. The Sooners misfired on all 16 of their 3-point attempts.

“They were much more ready than we were,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “We dug ourselves a big hole, and that was too much to overcome.”

The Horned Frogs went on a 19-1 run in the first half to build a 20-point lead. They pushed their advantage to 47-22 on Kyan Anderson’s 3-pointer in the opening minute of the second half.

Connell Crossland and Hill each scored 13 points for the Horned Frogs, who won their home finale for the first time since 2007.

TCU, which came into game shooting less than 40 percent from the floor, made 54 percent of its shots and piled up a season-high 20 assists.

“I thought we were as good as we’ve been — home or on the road — offensively in the first half,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said. “We were in a great rhythm.”

Romero Osby scored 19 points, and Andrew Fitzgerald added 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, for Oklahoma (20-10, 11-7), which will play Iowa State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament Thursday.

The Sooners came in having won four of five and were positioning themselves to make their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2009, when current NBA star Blake Griffin led OU to the regional finals.

Now, OU may need to make a run in the conference tournament to secure an NCAA berth.

“We have no control over any of that,” Kruger said.  “There’s a lot more basketball to be played, and we’ll try to make the most of that.”

Green hit a 3-pointer to stretch TCU’s lead to 59-42 before Oklahoma went on its 16-0 run. The Sooners made six free throws in a row, including a pair from Osby that made it 59-50. Osby closed the run with a dunk, cutting TCU’s lead to 59-58.

Green broke loose for a dunk that extended TCU’s lead to 68-63 with 18.3 seconds left. Grooms had a layup, and after TCU was hit with a five-second violation, Osby scored to bring the Sooners within 68-67 with 8.3 seconds remaining.

After Anderson made two free throws to bump the Horned Frogs’ advantage to three, Oklahoma had one final chance. Je’lon Hornbeak found Grooms open in the corner, but his 3-point attempt was off.

“If you would’ve told me that Oklahoma group would be 0 for 16 from the 3 with the way that pass it and they shoot it, I would have said I’ll take it any day of the week.” Johnson said.

When TCU and Oklahoma met on Feb. 11, the Horned Frogs didn’t score in the first 8 minutes of the game and the Sooners jumped out to a 36-11 halftime lead.

It was a far different story Saturday. TCU went 7 of 9 from the floor to start and had a 15-7 advantage on Green’s 3-pointer with 14:29 left in the first half.

The Sooners scored the next six to get within a basket before the Horned Frogs went on their 19-1 surge.

After Cameron Clark’s alley-oop dunk brought the Sooners within 15-13, Oklahoma missed its next seven shots and committed four turnovers. Hill, meanwhile, made a 3-pointer to start the run, and Crossland cut for a back-door layup to push to push the lead to 24-14.

Anderson ended the run with a basket, putting TCU ahead 34-14 with 6:31 left in the first half.

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