The men’s basketball team completed the second half of the DFW Duel by beating the SMU Mustangs 60-53 in Dallas.
The Horned Frogs capitalized on defensive rebounds and a string of Mustang turnovers that began the second half to come back from a 28-23 deficit at the break. TCU point guard Ronnie Moss got up to block a Mustang shot with 28 seconds left that would lead to a Frog victory in Moody Coliseum.
“Coach has been talking to us the whole year about getting a stop down the stretch and I had to just do anything to get my team going,” Moss said. “I just looked up and blocked it.”
Moss finished with 14 points, tied with forward Zvonko Buljan. Both were behind forward Edvinas Ruzgas who finished with 22 points, going four for five from three-point range.
“I just tried to stay confident and that’s what helped me.” Ruzgas said about his shooting behind the arch.
The Horned Frogs were unable to put the ball in the bucket for the first eight minutes of the game allowing the Mustangs to take a six-point lead. Buljan began the Horned Frog scoring, tallying the first two buckets in the eighth minute. Buljan’s biggest production came on the boards as he pulled down a team high nine on the night.
“(Buljan’s) our man guy on defense and offence by getting rebounds because we all know he can rebound,” Ruzgas said. “Every time somebody shoots we know he is probably going to be there and come down with the rebound.”
The Horned Frog defense stepped up to shut down SMU sophomore guard Paul McCoy who has never been held to less than six points in his career as a Mustang. Head coach Jim Christian started Garlon Green for the defensive advantage he brings to the table.
“Guys like (McCoy), if you let them get going early it’s hard to stop them, so we put our most athletic guy on him because (McCoy’s) such a key for them,” Christian said.
The Horned Frogs have found themselves in close ballgames with the clock running out several times so far in the young season. Christian agreed with Ruzgus who said they found their killer instinct tonight in Dallas.
“We’ve played eight games and we’ve been in that situation five times. It was the first time that we came out of the huddle in that situation with a kind of grit and determination to get a stop. It’s the same situation we’ve been in but this time we found a way to finish it and that’s growth.”
The mens team moves to 5-3 on the season and prepare to host Texas Tech at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m.