NEW ORLEANS, La. – TCU senior guard Corey Santee took over with 19 second-half points to lead the Horned Frogs to a 77-63 victory over Tulane in Conference USA men's basketball action on Wednesday evening at Fogelman Arena.
Tulane (9-15, 3-10 C-USA) took a 43-40 lead on a Quincy Davis hook shot with 14:37 to go, but Santee keyed a 15-2 run by TCU (17-10, 7-6 C-USA) which broke the game open. The 6-2 Horned Frog buried three three-pointers and added a hard drive to the hoop during the crippling run, which made it 55-45 with 8:20 to go.
"The big difference in the game was at about the 10-minute mark, there were seven straight possessions when we didn't score the basketball," Tulane coach Shawn Finney said. "That's when we let the game get away."
The Green Wave battled back however. Trailing 58-46, Marcus Kinzer hit a three-pointer and freshman David Gomez scored on an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 58-52. After TCU hit one-of-two free throws, Gomez hit a pair of foul shots and freshman Taylor Rochestie nailed a three-pointer and it was 59-57 with six minutes to go.
"When we got it back to 59-57, we went through another drought, even though we got some good looks," Finney continued.
The Wave drought included eight misses and four turnovers over the final six minutes. TCU, which struggled mightily from the line, came together down the same stretch, hitting 11-of-16 free throws in that time and outscoring the Green Wave 18-6. The Frogs shot just 25-of-50 from the line in the game, with the 50 free throws setting a C-USA season-high.
Gomez led the Green Wave with a career-high 18 points and eight rebounds, while Rochestie finished with 12 points. Davis notched his fifth double-double of the year with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while freshman Donnie Stith chipped in with five points and 10 boards.
While TCU struggled to capitalize on its massive free throw advantage (50-18), they also gained an edge with foul trouble plaguing the Green Wave. Gomez and Rochestie both fouled out, while Davis was limited to 28 minutes due to four fouls.
"Foul trouble was a big problem for us; it put us off our rhythm and hurt our effectiveness on offense," Finney said. "It hurt our aggressiveness when we needed to defend harder."
TCU was led by Santee's 25 points, while Marcus Shropshire added 17 points and Nile Murry scored 16.
"There guards are senior players playing against freshman, that's a big advantage," Finney said.
A bright spot for the Green Wave was the play of senior Marcus Kinzer, who has been hampered by an ankle injury since Jan. 19. The senior guard, though still hobbled, saw 28 minutes of action, tallied nine points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals while turning the ball over just once.
"Marcus played 28 minutes for us tonight, but he's still not Marcus," Finney said.
Tulane plays its next two games on the road, at UAB on Saturday and at Cincinnati next Wednesday. The final regular season game and the final home game of the year will be Saturday, March 5 against East Carolina. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 504-861-WAVE.
Tulane Falls To TCU At Fogleman, 77-63
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