Special to RattleandHumSports.com
TCU led by double digits early before having to force a late rally on its way to a 67-64 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Sunday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The Horned Frogs scored seven of the game’s final nine points in the comeback win.
TCU improved to 9-4 with the victory, including 7-2 at home. The Frogs finished their non-conference schedule with the best winning percentage (.692) for the program since going 10-4 (.714) in regular-season non-league games in 2004-05. The loss dropped the Delta Devils’ season record to 0-10.
The Frogs led by as many as 12 points Sunday but saw their advantage evaporate late as MVSU cranked its game up to another level in the second half. A 6-0 run gave TCU a 56-47 edge with 9:34 remaining, but MVSU scored 15 of the game’s next 19 points to take the lead inside the final three minutes. The Frogs went cold from the floor during the stretch, as the Devils held the squad without a field goal and to only four foul throws for nearly eight full minutes.
A Darryl Marshall layup gave MVSU its first lead of the game at 62-60 with 2:24 to play, but TCU responded with its late surge. Senior forward Adrick McKinney came up with two huge plays down low on back-to-back TCU possessions, first tying the game with a layup off an assist from sophomore guard Kyan Anderson. McKinney then gave the Frogs the lead for good with a tip-in off a missed layup by fellow senior Garlon Green with 35 seconds left.
TCU closed the game out at the line late, with Green hitting two shots to give the Frogs a four-point lead and Anderson adding another in the final seconds following another Marshall basket. MVSU did have one final opportunity to tie, but Marshall’s desperation 3-point try was far off the mark at the buzzer.
Anderson led TCU in the scorebook for the fourth time this season with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and added five assists. Green totaled 15 and seven rebounds, and McKinney had 13 points and a game-high nine boards. Senior forward Connell Crossland chipped in nine points and five boards, and senior guard Nate Butler Lind, who totaled only six points in 40 minutes, provided a lockdown defensive effort on MVSU leading scorer Davon Usher, managing only six points.
Two Delta Devils scored in double figures, including guard Matt Smith, who totaled a game-high 17 points to go with nine rebounds, and guard Darius Tomlin, who totaled 13 points. Marshall gave the Frogs fits all afternoon with his dribble penetration at the point, dishing out a game-high seven assists.
MVSU found success inside thanks to Marshall’s ability to break down the TCU defense. The squad scored 40 of its 64 points in the paint, even though the vast majority of its production came from guards. The Delta Devils also recorded a 36-34 edge on the glass, although the Frogs were able to find their way to the charity stripe, where they posted a 12-4 scoring edge.
Despite the close result, the contest did feature one of the TCU’s strongest starts to a contest this season, as the squad scored 13 of the game’s first 17 points while building an early nine-point advantage. Green and Anderson helped push the Frogs to a 12-point edge with just over seven minutes left in the half with back-to-back treys.
MVSU crept back into the game with some easy baskets inside. The squad grabbed five offensive boards rebounds in the opening stanza that resulted in seven points. Smith got hot late in the period, totaling eight points in the final five minutes, and MVSU scored six of the final eight points of the half to cut the TCU edge to only four points at the break, 37-33.
TCU opens its inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference next Saturday when it plays host to Texas Tech at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The Frogs and Red Raiders tip off at 5 p.m. with television coverage provided by FOX Sports Southwest.