Thanks Garlon. - USA TODAY Sports
TCU builds a huge lead, then weathers a massive comeback from the Sooners in order to close the career of the seniors the right way.
You could not have asked for a more perfect start for Senior day. TCU seniors scored the first 12 of the Frogs points in the first half, with each of the upperclassmen collecting a bucket early on and the Frogs made a huge early push. The crowd was absolutely into it and on top of the OU players early, as the Sooners tried to play hero ball and cut the lead with three balls, only to draw nothing but air. In the first half every OU mini run was answered with a three and Connell Crossland hammered both the glass and the rim for 11 points and six rebounds in the first half. Things would have gotten even more out of hand for the Sooners if not for Garlon Green's issues handling the ball, as he was the only senior who ended up riding the pine for extended time in the first half- he was still shooting well, but anytime he looked to pass disaster happened. The Frogs rolled up a huge 44-22 lead to close out the first half and things were looking excellent.
Then the whistles started. Adrick McKinney, Connell Crossland and Devonta Abron were each taken up to three fouls in the early going by OU's post game (and some fortunate whistles) which meant that the TCU advantage on the boards from the first half quickly evaporated under relentless Sooner pressure. Sooner miss was often followed by Sooner offensive rebound, and what was a ruthlessly efficient TCU offense in the first half stalled out thanks to a combination of full court pressure by the Sooners and the timidity of the TCU inside players due to foul trouble. The Frogs were still shooting the ball all right, but turnovers were much more frequent than baskets and OU whittled down the lead two points at a time. With seven minutes left in the game, Connell Crossland fouled out and the Sooners were within single digits. Then, when the Frogs had gone for over four minutes without a basket, Garlon Green hit a three. Finally able to exhale, the DMC was absolutely rocking the remainder of the way as TCU tried like hell to hang on, while OU drove to the hole again and again to take advantage of the TCU foul situation. Finally, with about two minutes left, TCU switched from man to the 2-3 zone that they had been having such success with the previous few games for the first time all game. The Sooners didn't have an answer for it, as OU attempted 15 threes to that point in the game and hit none of them, so the Frogs kept the lead from disappearing. Nate Butler Lind went 1-4 from the line with less than three minutes left, but made up for it with a key layup to push the lead back to 4 with less than a minute remaining, and Garlon Green broke away to receive a Devonta Abron dish out of the full court press to push the lead to 5 with less than thirty seconds remaining. Still OU kept at us, scoring quickly as TCU was desperate not to foul, and forcing a 5 second violation on the inbounds as Trent Johnson's calling for time out was missed by the officials, and suddenly the lead was one with 6.8 to play.
It was free throw time.
And Kyan Anderson manned up. Anderson didn't have a great game by his standards, hitting just one three pointer and missing a couple of layups that would have been huge for the frogs, but Anderson hit both free throws to extend the lead back to three. OU needed a three pointer.
They got an air ball.
Absolutely fantastic effort from the Frogs on a night where the two halves were as different as night and day. All our thanks go out to Connell Crossland, Adrick McKinney, Nate Butler Lind and Garlon Green for their careers, relentless effort in an awful season and one more fantastic day.