Fort Worth, TX – In jeopardy of falling out of the national Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Lobos, who put together a seven-game win streak that included back-to-back victories over San Diego State and UNLV, the other two titans in the MWC, saw that run come to an end on Tuesday night with a 71-63 setback versus Colorado State. Nevertheless, with this and a pair of home dates against Air Force and Boise State still remaining on the schedule, UNM is first in the MWC standings with a record of 8-3.
As for the Horned Frogs, who are enjoying a winning record this late into the season for the first time since 2004-05, they've won seven straight home dates and five such games against conference opponents. Three nights ago, the team slipped by Air Force in the waning moments with a 65-62 win on the road, the third victory in the last four games overall. Should TCU, which is tied with Colorado State for fourth place in the MWC standings at 6-5, win today's battle against UNM it would mark just the second time in program history and the first since the 1997-98 campaign that the Frogs have beaten back-to-back ranked opponents.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Lobos are ahead by a count of 16-5, thanks in part to a 71-54 win in the first meeting of the season in The Pit. The victory moved UNM to a perfect 10-0 in the building versus the Frogs.
New Mexico was caught by surprise by the Rams earlier this week at Moby Arena, the visitors shooting just 36.7 percent from the floor, 6-of-23 behind the three-point line, and guilty of 17 turnovers in the eight-point loss. Kendall Williams accounted for 16 points for the squad, although he shot just 3-of-13 from the floor, while Demetrius Walker came off the bench to post 14 points, followed by Drew Gordon with 13 points and six rebounds, although the latter also turned the ball over six times. When it comes to conference games, Williams is now the leading scorer for the Lobos with his 13.7 ppg, thanks in large part to his 45.2 percent shooting behind the three-point line. Gordon continues to pace the group on the glass (10.9 rpg), his 12.6 ppg making him just the second player on the team to be averaging in double figures in conference play. Putting up a strong defensive front more often than not, the Lobos are limiting opponents to just 39.0 percent shooting from the field, 29.9 percent out on the perimeter and 57.7 ppg overall.
Amric Fields hit his only three-pointer of the night against Air Force with a mere 20.7 seconds remaining in order to put the Horned Frogs on the edge of winning their first conference road game in 16 opportunities. Fields finished with 10 points, which trailed only J.R. Cadot (16 points) and Kyan Anderson (13), with Cadot also clearing a game-high 13 rebounds as well. The squad picked up the slack left by Hank Thorns who scored a mere three points as he shot just 1-of-10 from the floor before fouling out. Thorns, who has had some shaky games this season, still leads the team in scoring with 13.0 ppg and is also tops with 124 assists, but his 38.0 percent shooting from the floor is still tough to swallow at times. Cadot (10.7 ppg) has made himself into a top- flight rebounder in the conference with close to seven per game but still TCU as a whole is trailing opponents on the glass on the average.