Frogs Spring Back From Halftime Deficit To Top Lobos, 62-54
March 6, 2007
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Brent Hackett's 24 points led TCU's comeback from a 14-point first-half deficit and the Horned Frogs raced past New Mexico 62-54 Tuesday night in the opener of the Mountain West Conference tournament.
TCU (13-16) advanced to face top-seeded BYU in the quarterfinals Thursday, and the Lobos (15-17) finished with just their second losing season since 1984.
The Lobos, who hadn't lost five straight games since 1995, jumped out to a 24-11 lead on the eighth-seeded Horned Frogs but then went stone cold from the floor.
Hackett's drive to the basket with just under five minutes left gave the Horned Frogs a 52-46 lead and capped a 13-3 run. Chad Toppert responded with a 3-pointer for New Mexico, but Alvardo Parker's three-point play with 3:42 restored TCU's six-point lead, and the Lobos didn't have another run left in them.
J.R. Giddens had 10 points and 11 boards for New Mexico, which also got 12 points from Jamaal Smith.
McKay, whose team lost five conference games in The Pit for the first time ever, was fired last month, effective at season's end.
It appeared early on that he'd get at least another game with the Lobos.
New Mexico used an 18-0 run highlighted by Smith's rebound and fastbreak basket to take a 24-11 lead. The Horned Frogs went seven minutes between baskets during that stretch.
After trailing by as many as 14, however, TCU pulled to 34-26 at the half.
The Lobos missed their first eight shots after halftime before Tony Danridge sank a bucket with 13:36 left, giving New Mexico a 37-33 lead.
McKay finished 82-69 in five seasons, including an 8-43 mark on the road. He is 165-158 in an 11-year coaching career that included earlier stops at Portland State, Colorado State and Oregon State.
McKay led the Lobos to the NCAA tournament two years ago, earning a contract extension through 2010. That team was led by Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger, who had transferred to New Mexico from Bradley.