TCU Ousted by Colorado State

Colorado State beat TCU by a score of 81-60 Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS--The TCU men's basketball team (17-14) fell 81-60 to Colorado State on Thursday afternoon.

It took Colorado State all of 5 minutes to control the entire ball game. At the first media timeout, the Rams led 13-4 behind eight points from their leader, guard Wes Eikmeier.

TCU was a step behind, a step slow, and late to the party.

The Rams carried a 16 point lead into halftime as the Frogs shot just 1-11 from behind the arc in the first half.

TCU fell down 21 points early in the second half, but they were able to cut the Colorado State lead to 11 with just over 13 minutes to play.

The Rams already had seven team fouls which set up TCU to shoot one and one for the rest of the half.

For the next 6 minutes, Mountain West Conference officials quickly evened up the foul discrepancy. TCU was whistled for four fouls in a less than one minute stretch, and Colorado State would go over 6 minutes without being whistled for a foul.

During that stretch, Colorado State put the game out of reach has Colorado State dominated the paint with 42 points in the paint in the first 32 minutes of the ball game.

Jesse Carr toyed with TCU guards the entire ball game. The junior guard was able to set-up easy dunks for forwards Will Bell and Pierce Hornung.

Carr finished with 9 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds.

TCU was led in scoring by Hank Thorns who finished with 19 points. Thorns was the only Frog to hit a three pointer on the evening.

The Frogs finished just 2-20 from the three point line.

"They hurt us right from the beginning today. We dug too deep of a hole," Jim Christian said. "Then we tried to come back. We kind of lost our offensive discipline. We tried to get it back too soon. That's what happens when you dig holes."

Christian said his defense just did not come play this afternoon in Vegas. Their game plan was to keep the Rams out of the lane, but the Frogs allowed the Rams to score 50 points in the paint.

"I think our game is, we win games on defense. I don't think our offense really is a problem," Hank Thorns said. "We make shots. We miss shots. But the game is won on the defensive end and on the rebounding side. We just didn't do that today."

Another problem for the Frogs was CSU forward Pierce Hornung who finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Most damning for the Frogs was the nine offensive rebounds hauled down by Hornung.

Cadot was at a loss for words when asked about his team's inability to keep Hornung off the glass.

"To be a tough team, you need a player like him to do all the dirty work. You never know where they'll go with a player like him," Cadot said.

Colorado State will advance to the semifinals to play San Diego State tomorrow afternoon at 6:05 pacific time.

For Rams coach Tim Miles, tomorrow is another opportunity to prove that Colorado State belongs in the tourney.

"They're our league champion," Miles said of San Diego State. "I think it's our most favorable matchup of those three in terms of UNLV and New Mexico. So you can't ask for more as a coach. Our kids, we've got a really competitive bunch of kids. I think it will be a fun game."

According to ESPN's bracketology, the Rams have likely punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament, but Miles is focused on winning the conference tournament first.

"Try to win the conference tournament and see if [the selection committee] can keep us out that way. They can't," Miles said. "I think our guys are trying to focus at the task at hand, and that's the conference tournament."

TCU on the other hand must wait now. At 17-14 the Frogs have a slim chance at the NIT, but the CBI tournament seems like the Frogs' more likely destination.

Since the CBI can extend invitations on a rolling basis, TCU will likely find its destination in the near future.

Alex Apple Twitter: @AlexAppleDFW

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