Men’s team tops worst conference foe

Mens team tops worst conference foe

Four free throws and a rebound in the final minute of the game sealed the Horned Frogs‘ 13th victory of the season, and ended the two-game skid when the team edged out the Colorado State Rams 66-64 last night in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Senior guard Brent Hackett sunk four shots from the charity stripe and picked up a rebound with about 20 seconds left on the clock, leaving the Rams 3-pointer at the buzzer a non-factor in a game that was close from start to finish.

Hackett was perfect from the free-throw line, going 11-11. He said he has been in these situations, and he did not try to do anything special.

“I didn’t feel any pressure on my shoulders, I just tried to make the shots,” Hackett said.

The Horned Frogs were 27-28 from the free-throw line, and head coach Neil Dougherty said the near perfection was a first for him.

“I don’t know if I have ever been in a college game where we shot that many and missed just one,” Dougherty said.

The Horned Frogs came into this game ranked ninth in the nation in steals per game, with just under 10 per outing. Dougherty said this is in part because of the team’s full-court press.

He said the press was effective against the Rams because it, “kept the physical wear and tear on them,” and this led to the Rams becoming fatigued, which allowed the Horned Frogs to capitalize and create turnovers and steals.

“We are trying to get good at full-court pressures because it opens up the game a little more to our liking,” Dougherty said.

Senior guard Neiman Owens said the team’s high ranking in the theft department this season is all about hard defense.

“On defense we try to go as hard as possible, and if that happens, everything else will work itself out,” Owens said.

A goose egg still lies in the win column for the Rams in the Mountain West Conference. At 6-19 overall, the Rams are 0-11 in conference, while the Horned Frogs have matched their win total from last season, improving to 13-12, and 5-7 in conference.

Hackett led the team with 19 points, while one of the team’s leading scorers, junior guard Henry Salter, was held scoreless on five attempts from the field.

The Horned Frogs swept the season series against their conference opponent, and their win in Fort Collins, Colo., earlier this year has been the only win for TCU away from home this season.

Dougherty said 13 wins is something the team hopes to build on to make a solid push in the Mountain West Conference Tournament.

“Ultimately, the goal at this point is to get the team playing as well as possible for the rest of the season, so we can go into the conference tournament and win there,” Dougherty said.

The Horned Frogs will try to add to this new winning streak, when they conclude their two-game home stand against the Utah Utes next Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.