Feb. 22, 2012
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USAFA, Colo.—Sophomore forward Amric Fields hit a 3-pointer with 20.7 seconds remaining to end a long string of TCU road frustrations Wednesday, as the Horned 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.
The win moved TCU’s overall season record to 16-11, while the squad kept pace in the Mountain West race, improving to 6-5 in the league standings. Air Force dropped to 13-12 overall and 3-8 in the MW.
Fields drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing with the shot clock winding down after reeling in a nice feed from junior forward Connell Crossland, who ran down an offensive rebound off a blocked layup attempt by freshman 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 guard Michael Lyons on the ensuing Air Force possession. Guard Justin Hammonds was able to track down the loose ball for the Falcons but then turned it over to the Frogs.
Senior guard 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 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.
Hammonds proved to be a headache for the Frogs all evening, hitting 8-of-9 shots from the field while scoring a game-high 17 points. Broekhuis scored 15 and added four assists and a game-high six blocked shots, while forward Mike Fitzgerald totaled 13 points and seven boards.
TCU trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half and by eight points with 7:32 reamining before staging another late comeback in a 2011-12 season filled with them. The Frogs scored seven straight points on a Cadot layup, Anderson trey and jumper by junior guard/forward Garlon Green to cut the lead to one point with 6:25 remaining, 55-54. Following an Air Force basket by Fletcher, TCU took its first lead since midway through the first half on back-to-back perfect trips to the charity stripe by Cadot and Anderson.
Air Force moved back in front by two points with just over a minute remaining on back-to back scores by Hammonds and guard Michael Lyons before Fields’ late dramatics put TCU on top for good.
TCU controlled the game early, scoring 10 of the first 13 points on treys by Thorns and Anderson and a pair of McKinney layups. The squad led by as many as nine points just under nine minutes into the contest after a putback by Crossland, one of four by the Frogs in the early stages of the game. Fueling TCU’s early success was its ability to clamp down on the glass. The Frogs grabbed 13 of 15 rebounds at the outset of the game, including five on the offensive end of the court.
Air Force climbed back into the contest during a prolonged TCU cold streak that saw the Frogs make only a 3-pointer by junior guard Nate Butler in a stretch of more than eight-and-one-half minutes late in the half. Fitzgerald and Hammonds answered Butler’s bucket with 3’s of their own, knotting the game at 23-all with 4:45 to play. The Falcons duo added two more baskets, both inside the arc, before a traditional 3-point play by Broekhuis put the squad on top by seven, 30-23. Air Force scored 13 straight points during the run.
TCU scored six of the final eight points of the half, highlighted by another Anderson trey, to climb to within three points at intermission, 32-29.
TCU returns home for its third game in 21 days against a ranked opponent when it faces 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.