TCU Puts Home Win Streak on Line vs. No. 18 New Mexico

Feb. 24, 2012

Game #28
TCU (16-11; 6-5 MW) vs. #18/21 NEW MEXICO (22-5; 8-3 MW)


Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012  //  6 p.m.  //  Fort Worth, Texas  //  Daniel-Meyer Coliseum (7,201)
Television: The Mtn. (DirecTV ch. 616)  //  Talent: Ari Wolfe (pxp), Joe Cravens (analyst)
Radio: 1460 AM (KCLE), 88.7 FM (KTCU)  //  Talent: Brian Estridge (pxp), John Denton (analyst)
Internet: (radio, GameTracker)
Series Record: New Mexico leads, 16-5  //  Last Meeting: Jan. 28, 2012 in Albuquerque (L, 54-71)
TCU Head Coach: Jim Christian (Rhode Island, ‘88)    
      Record at TCU: 54-69 (.439) in 4th season  // Overall: 192-127 (.602) in 10th season
UNM Head Coach: Steve Alford (Indiana, ‘87)   
      Record at UNM: 120-44 (.732) in 4th season // Overall: 428-227 (.653) in 20th season

FORT WORTH--TCU returns home for its third game against a ranked opponent in 21 days when it plays host to No. 18 New Mexico Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.  Tip-off for the contest, which will be televised live by The MountainWest Sports Network (The Mtn.), is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Horned Frogs, 16-11 overall this season and tied for fourth place in the Mountain West standings with Colorado State at 6-5, enter the final days of the regular season in the thick of the conference title race. New Mexico, the MW leader with an 8-3 league record, holds a two-game edge on the Frogs with three games to play. TCU already has matched the most conference wins for the program since it joined the MW prior to the 2005-06 season, while it finds itself with a winning league mark this late in a season for the first time since 2004-05.

In addition to being an important game in the Mountain West title race, the matchup also will be a test for a seven-game TCU home winning streak and a five-game conference home streak that ranks as the program’s longest since 2000-01. The Frogs passed their last challenge at the DMC, ending a 15-game winless streak against ranked opponents Feb. 11 against No. 11 UNLV. A win Saturday against the Lobos would give the Frogs back-to-back victories over a ranked opponent for only the second time in program history and the first time since the 1997-98 season (No. 24 Hawaii, No. 11 New Mexico).

New Mexico, 22-5 overall this season, will look to shake off a Tuesday loss at Colorado State that ended the squad’s seven-game winning streak. The Lobos, who climbed into the national rankings this week for the first time in two seasons, are 7-2 in true road games, including 4-2 in the conference.

TCU will aim for its first victory against UNM since Jan. 15, 2008 in Fort Worth. The Lobos have won each of the last eight meetings, including a 71-54 decision on Jan. 28 in Albuquerque, and own a 16-5 advantage in the all-time series.

Saturday’s matchup marks TCU’s 19th televised game of the season and its 15th on The Mtn. Ari Wolfe (play-by-play) and Joe Cravens (analyst) will handle play-by-play duties. Fans can follow the contest on the radio throughout the Metroplex on 1460 AM KCLE and 88.7 FM KTCU with Brian Estridge (play-by-play) and John Denton (analyst) calling the action. Links to both the live radio Internet feed and live stats will be available via TCU’s official athletics website,

* TCU has guaranteed itself a winning record in the regular season for the first time since 2004-05 (19-13). The squad’s 16 total victories are two more than in any season since 2004-05.

* TCU’s six conference wins match the most ever for the squad as a member of the Mountain West despite only 14 league games this season, two fewer than in past years (16).

* A victory Saturday would extend TCU’s conference home winning streak to six games for the first time since the 1997-98 squad went a perfect 14-0 in the WAC (7-0 at home). TCU’s overall home winning streak would move to eight games for the first time since 2008-09 (nine).

* TCU has made six or more 3-pointers in 10 straight games and at least 12 in four of the last six contests.

* TCU entered MW play ranked dead last among the eight league teams averaging only 5.67 3pg, but has hit 9.00 3pg in MW contests, which is tops in the league.  The team also leads the MW with a 38.7% 3-point shooting rate in league games after entering conference play ranked No. 7 (34.4%).

* TCU is 13-3 in games decided by six points or fewer, three more wins than the previous school record for victories within the margin. The Frogs have outscored opponents by only 44 points in the 13 close wins compared to a margin of 120 points in their other three victories.

* TCU is forcing an average of 16.3 turnovers per game, 1.1 more than any other Mountain West team. The squad is No. 2 in the MW in average turnover margin (+2.22) and No. 3 in scoring (71.3 ppg) and steals (7.11 spg).

* TCU ranks among the nation’s top-100 teams in average turnover margin (56th), 3-point shooting rate (65th), scoring (95th), 3-pointers made (88th) and assists (93rd).

* Craig Williams is 11-of-15 on 3-point tries over the last four games after entering the stretch 4-of-22 on the season.

* Hank Thorns is No. 4 in the MW in 3-pointers (2.19 3pg), assists (4.59 apg) and 3-point percentage (39.3%); No. 5 in minutes (33.30 mpg); No. 7 in assist/turnover ratio (1.55); and No. 8 in scoring (13.0 ppg).

* In MW play, Thorns is No. 1 in 3’s made (3.00 3pg), No. 2 in 3-point shooting (43.4%), No. 3 in assists (4.27 apg) and No. 6 in scoring (13.8 ppg).

* Thorns has made at least one 3-pointer in 15 consecutive games, a career-long streak that ranks as the second-longest active streak for all MW players.

* Thorns needs only four assists to tie former Frog great Jamie Dixon for No. 6 on TCU’s career assists chart (353).

* J.R. Cadot is No. 4 in the MW in offensive rebounds (2.74 rpg); No. 5 in the MW in total rebounds (6.9 rpg); No. 6 in defensive rebounds (4.19 rpg); No. 7 in steals (1.59 spg) and No. 17 in scoring (10.7 ppg).

* Kyan Anderson, who is averaging 9.8 ppg in MW play, is the only freshman ranked among the league’s top-20 scorers (No. 20) in conference action. He also is the top freshman in minutes played (No. 6; 34.91 mpg) and is No. 8 player in the MW in assists for all contests (2.96) apg).

* Anderson’s 80 assists mark the most by a TCU freshman since Corey Santee posted a freshman-record 180 in 2001-02.

* TCU is 10-0 when holding teams to under 47.6% shooting from the field and 10-0 when outrebounding the opponent.

No.    Name                Pos.        Ht.        Wt.        Yr.        P - R - APG        
  2    Connell Crossland        F        6-7        195        Jr.        2.3 - 3.3 - 0.8
  5    Kyan Anderson        G        5-11    165        Fr.        8.0 - 1.5 - 3.0
10    Hank Thorns            G        5-9        165        Sr.        13.0 - 2.4 - 4.6
23    J.R. Cadot            G        6-5        210        Sr.        10.7 - 6.9 - 1.6#
24    Adrick McKinney        F        6-8        260        Jr.        5.4 - 4.2 - 0.8

No.    Name                Pos.        Ht.        Wt.        Yr.        P - R - APG        
00    A.J. Hardeman        F        6-8        235        Sr.        4.4 - 3.7 - 0.6^
  3    Hugh Greenwood        G        6-3        209        Fr.        5.4 - 3.3 - 2.5
10    Kendall Williams        G        6-3        180        So.        12.5 - 3.4 - 4.0
21    Tony Snell            G        6-7        195        So.        11.4 - 2.9 - 2.1
32    Drew Gordon        F        6-9        245        Sr.        12.7 - 10.9 - 1.1^

^-blocks per game;     #-steals per game;    
*-players determined by starters from each team’s previous game

New Mexico, 22-5 overall this season and 8-3 in Mountain West play under fourth-year head coach Steve Alford, enters Saturday’s game looking to keep hold of its one-game lead atop the league standings over UNLV and San Diego State. Two of the Lobos’ three MW losses have come on the road Jan. 21 at UNLV (80-63) and Tuesday at Colorado State (71-63).

The Lobos rank among the nation’s top-30 teams in several categories, including: field-goal percentage defense (No. 5), scoring margin (No. 6), scoring defense (No. 9), assists (No. 10), rebound margin (No. 14), 3-point field-goal defense (No. 22), and 3-point field-goal percentage (No. 24). The squad tops the MW in scoring defense, scoring margin, field-goal percentage defense, 3-point field-goal defense, rebounding margin, assists, rebounding margin and defensive rebounds.

Senior forward Drew Gordon averages a double-double each time out with figures of 12.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. He ranks No. 9 nationally in rebounds and is No. 1 in the MW in blocked shots (1.15 bpg) and field-goal percentage (51.5%), No. 2 in rebounding and No. 9 in scoring. Sophomore guards Kendall Williams (12.5 ppg) and Tony Snell (11.4 ppg) also average double figures in scoring. Williams is No. 5 in the MW in assists (3.96).

New Mexico holds a 16-5 edge in the all-time series that stretches back to 1964. The Lobos own a 11-3 advantage since the Frogs joined the MWC prior to the 2005-06 season and have won each of the last seven meetings. TCU took 3-of-4 games played during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. The Frogs are 4-4 against UNM in Albuquerque.

TCU vs. New Mexico – Last 10 Meetings
Date            W/L        Score    Site            
March 6, 2007    W        62-54    Las Vegas
Jan. 15, 2008        W        74-72    Fort Worth
Feb. 16, 2008          L        48-64    Albuquerque
Jan. 24, 2009              L        52-69    Fort Worth
Feb. 24, 2009          L        62-76    Albuquerque
Jan. 30, 2010              L        57-73    Fort Worth
March 3, 2010          L        66-73    Albuquerque
Jan. 26, 2011              L        46-71    Albuquerque
Feb. 26, 2011          L        70-80    Fort Worth
Jan. 28, 2012              L        54-71    Albuquerque

Amric Fields scored 16 points and J.R. Cadot added 15, but New Mexico pulled away from TCU late during a 71-54 victory over the Frogs Jan. 28 at The Pit.

TCU trailed by just seven points at halftime, 33-26, and was able to quickly climb to within five after Cadot recorded a steal and went coast-to-coast for a layup to open the second half. The Frogs would not be able to get any closer, as the Lobos answered by rattling off a 12-0 run featuring a pair of 3-pointers by guard Tony Snell to move on top by 17 points. TCU cut the lead back down to only six points, 51-45, with 9:03 remaining before UNM dashed the Frogs’ hopes with a 20-9 run to end the game.

Cadot played a solid game for the Frogs in the paint, adding nine rebounds to go along with his 15 points, including eight boards in the opening half alone. He tied a career high by going to the free-throw line 12 times, making seven. Fields was hot from outside, making 4-of-7 3-point attempts.

Snell paced the UNM scoring attack with a game-high 18 points while drilling 4-of-8 attempts from 3-point range and dishing out four assists. Kendall Williams added 14 points, five assists and three steals. Drew Gordon pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Lobos to a 36-27 advantage on the glass.

Amric Fields hit a 3-pointer with 20.7 seconds remaining to end a long string of TCU road frustrations Wednesday, as the Frogs battled back to defeat Air Force at the Falcons’ Clune Arena, 65-62. The victory snapped a 15-game conference road skid dating back to the 2009-10 season.

Fields drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing with the shot clock winding down after reeling in a nice feed from Connell Crossland, who ran down an offensive rebound off a blocked layup attempt by Kyan Anderson. Crossland then delivered another huge play for the Frogs, recording a blocked shot of his own on a point-blank layup attempt by Michael Lyons on the ensuing Air Force possession. Justin Hammonds was able to track down the loose ball for the Falcons but then turned it over to the Frogs.

J.R. Cadot, who played a monster game in the paint for TCU, added two free throws late to push the cushion to three points, and the Frogs withstood a last-ditch 3-point attempt by Falcon guard Taylor Broekhuis that was off the mark at the final buzzer.

Cadot was the player of the game for TCU, recording his fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and a career-high-tying 13 rebounds. Eight of the Frog senior’s board total came on the offensive end, which helped lead to a whopping 22 offensive rebounds for TCU on the night. Overall, the Frogs posted a 44-26 rebounding advantage, their largest margin in a game this season. Cadot also totaled three steals.

Anderson added 13 points for the Frogs, hitting 3-of-5 attempts from beyond the arc and dishing out a game-high five assists. Fields totaled 10 points, including his game-winning 3-pointer, while Crossland scored a career-high nine points and pulled down eight rebounds. .

* TCU improved 16-11 overall, guaranteeing itself its first winning regular season since 2004-05.

* The six conference wins match the most ever for TCU as a member of the Mountain West. This season each league team plays only 14 games, compared to 16 games in previous years.

* TCU snapped a 15-game conference road losing streak that dated back to the 2009-10 season. The Frogs’ last road conference victory came at Wyoming on Feb. 13, 2010, 76-68.

* TCU also snapped a seven-game overall road losing streak and is now 3-7 on the opponent’s home court this season.

* TCU improved to 13-3 this year in games decided by six points or fewer, extending its school record for wins within the margin.

* TCU recorded its fourth victory this season when overcoming a deficit of 10 points or more.

* J.R. Cadot recorded his fifth double-double of the year and eighth of his career with 16 points and a career-high13 rebounds.

* Eight of Cadot’s rebounding total came on the offensive glass. The Frogs totaled a season-best 22 offensive boards as a team.

* TCU posted a 44-26 rebounding advantage Wednesday, it’s largest margin this season.

* Connell Crossland recorded a career high with nine points.

* Hank Thorns extended his career-long streak of consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer to 15. The figure ranks as the second-longest active streak among Mountain West players.

* Air Force (51.1%) became the 14th TCU opponent in 27 games this season to shoot 50% or higher from the field.

Home TCU crowds at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum have seen the Frogs play their best ball in several seasons during the squad’s 12-2 run at home.

* TCU’s 12-2 record at the DMC marks its best home start to a season since the 2000-01 squad posted a mark of 16-1.

* TCU has won seven consecutive home games for the first time since 2008-09 (nine) and five straight conference home contests for the first time since 2000-01 (five).

* A win vs. New Mexico would give TCU its longest home conference winning streak since the 1997-98 team went 7-0.

* TCU has recorded 10 home wins this season for the 12th time in the last 15 years. Over that period, the Frogs have accumulated a 190-85 (.691) record at the DMC.

* TCU owns an all-time record of 437-257 (.630) at the DMC.

The TCU program has made measurable strides in head coach Jim Christian’s fourth year guiding the program. Among the accomplishments still within the Frogs’ reach this season are:

* TCU has clinched a winning record in the regular season for the first time since going 19-13 in 2004-05.

* TCU already has matched its previous high win total as a member of the MW (six) with three games to play.

* Two wins in the final three games would give TCU its first winning record in conference play since an 9-7 mark in 2000-01.

* TCU has its best conference mark this late in a season since 2004-05 (7-6).

* The Frogs are shooting for their first postseason tournament appearance since reaching the quarterfinals of the 2005 NIT.

* TCU’s 12 home wins already rank as its most since going 13-4 in 2007-08. The squad’s current home winning rate of 85.7% would be its best since going 16-1 in 2000-01 (94.1%).