TCU 83, No. 18 New Mexico 64
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)
Amric Fields knows just how much better things have gotten for TCU in a short time.
Too vividly he remembers the Horned Frogs' 13-game losing streak to end the regular season a year ago.
Fields scored eight consecutive points for TCU in a 48-second span during the tiebreaking run and the Frogs upset another ranked team at home, beating No. 18 New Mexico 83-64 on Saturday night.
''It's unreal how it can turn around in a year as long as you just buy into the system and everybody plays hard,'' Fields said.
TCU (17-11, 7-5 Mountain West Conference) has won eight consecutive home games, the last two over Top 25 teams. The Frogs are guaranteed their first winning season since 2004-05.
''I couldn't be more proud of this team,'' coach Jim Christian said. ''The only thing you want as a coach, you want to see your team grow and grow as the year goes on. And our team, without question, has grown maybe as much anybody in the country.''
J.R. Cadot had 15 points and 10 rebounds for TCU, leading six players in double-figure scoring.
Connell Crossland's one-handed slam dunk over a defender, his only basket of the game, broke the eighth and last tie. That put TCU ahead 50-48 with 13:26 left and started a 10-0 run in which Fields scored the rest of the points.
New Mexico (22-6, 8-4) has lost both its games since a seven-game winning streak that had pushed it to the top of the Mountain West standings and into the latest Top 25 poll.
''We were playing awfully well going into the road trip and we didn't play very well at all on this road trip,'' coach Steve Alford said. ''Now it's about getting home and taking care of home.''
The Lobos, tied with No. 21 UNLV atop the standings, finish the regular season at home against Air Force and Boise State - the bottom two teams in the league.
In its previous home game 11 days earlier, TCU beat then-No. 11 UNLV 102-97 in overtime. That was its first win over a ranked team in five years.
''Until you prove you can beat somebody, a ranked team, you're not going to beat a ranked team, so we proved it that way,'' Christian said. ''We came in with a different mentality. The kids had a different feel about them.''
TCU has consecutive victories over ranked opponents for only the second time in school history. The other time was 14 years ago.
Hank Thorns added 14 points for the Frogs, while Garlon Green had 13, Craig Williams 12, Fields 11 and Kyan Anderson 10.
Fields made a free throw with 11 1/2 minutes left. He missed his second attempt, but the Frogs got the rebound and he hit a 3-pointer from the left corner in front of the TCU bench. He added two free throws and a steal for a breakaway layup that made it 58-48 with 10:42 left.
''Amric is a player. He has so many capabilities and talents,'' Thorns said. ''We know that he can score. We always tell him, `Don't worry about the shots. You're a great shooter, a great scorer.'''
Outside of that quick spurt, Fields shot 1 of 10 against the Lobos.
''My teammates never stopped believing in me,'' Fields said. ''Even when my shot's off, they're telling me to shoot, shoot, just stay confident. You never know, you can catch fire with eight straight points or whatever.''
Hugh Greenwood ended the TCU spurt with a 3-pointer, but the Lobos never got closer.
New Mexico had overcome a horrendous start at the outset of the game, but never recovered in the second half.
The Lobos had seven turnovers, three of them traveling calls, in the first 5 1/2 minutes. TCU jumped out to a 13-4 lead and didn't have a turnover the first 10 minutes.
Then the Frogs had turnovers on four consecutive possessions, allowing the Lobos to tie the game and go ahead for the first time.
Jamal Fenton slung a pass through the defense to a wide-open Hardeman for a dunk for New Mexico's first lead, 21-20, at the 7:40 mark. Gordon then had a breakaway dunk after Fields missed a 3-pointer.
The game was tied 38-all at halftime. Greenwood grabbed a blocked shot out of the air and put it right back in before the buzzer.
''We have no excuses,'' Hardeman said. ''We just came out flat, we lost. We didn't handle our business like we're supposed to in this situation.''