Slideshow: Men’s basketball team conquers Colorado State

Slideshow: Mens basketball team conquers Colorado State

Craig Williams had a team-high of 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point range leading his team to victory.

The TCU men’s basketball team beat Colorado State 75-71 Saturday night at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

TCU, 14-10 overall, 4-4 MW, held a 71-69 lead going into the final 20 seconds of play when point guard Kyan Anderson was fouled and sent to the line for two shots.

Anderson made both, giving him his first points of the game and extending the Frogs’ lead to four.

Anderson’s free throws came after the true freshman nearly cost TCU the possession before.

Anderson, apparently not paying attention to the shot clock, passed up a wide open three-pointer, drove inside then had to dish it to Hank Thorns, who was forced to heave up a last-ditch shot to avoid a shot clock violation.

Thorns didn’t, turning it over, but, luckily for TCU, the Rams couldn’t take advantage of the Frogs’ mistake as Anderson drew a foul before notching his biggest – and only – points of the night.

Anderson said the free throws weren’t anything spectacular – they were simply what TCU had to have.

“We just needed them and I stepped up and knocked them down,” said Anderson, who finished with eight assists.

CSU stayed in it, though, with Wes Ekmeier sinking a pair of free throws on the next possession, inching the Rams back to within two.

But TCU would extend its lead right back to four when Thorns, fouled immediately after getting the inbound pass, went to the line with 11 seconds left and drained a pair of free throws, putting the Frogs up for good.

Thorns finished with 15 points on the night, despite going 4-of-14 from the field.

Eikmeier had a game-high 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point range.

But TCU had to get its win in comeback fashion.

After shooting 57.1 percent (16-of-28) from the field in the first half, CSU jumped out to 38-33 halftime lead.

Rams forward Pierce Hornung had 11 points and five rebounds before the break, as CSU outscored the Frogs 22-12 in the paint in the first half.

TCU head coach Jim Christian said his team blew a few defensive sets, which led to the easy baskets.

“It’s just how the game’s played,” Christian said. “They were wanting to post us in the first half with some drives. We had some bad defensive assignments, some guys got by us and they scored.”

But the Frogs were kept in the game by Williams, who was 3-fo-3 from three-point range before halftime and had an offensive stretch late in the first half that prevented TCU from possibly getting blown out.

Trailing 33-23 with 2:55 left in the half, Williams made a layup then two possessions later sunk his second three-pointer of the night to cut the CSU lead to 33-28.

After the Rams responded with a bucket, Williams knocked down another three-pointer, cutting the deficit to 35-31.

The 6-foot-8 senior said he just tried to go with the flow of the game and didn’t go into the night with the mindset of having to make big three-pointers.

“I guess I just got lucky again,” joked Williams, who returned to the court after missing the SMU game Wednesday with a bruised tailbone. “I was really just trying to assert myself in the paint.”

Christian said getting Williams back was key, especially at home, where the transfer from Temple has shot well all season.

“We really missed him the other night,” Christian said. “He came out and he shot the ball with confidence. He shoots it better (at home). We talked about it last time, I’m not surprised when he makes a couple.”

TCU will be back in action Tuesday night when it hosts no. 14 UNLV. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. CT.