New Mexico vs TCU

No. 23 New Mexico 73, TCU 57 wire reports

FORT WORTH, Texas -- With everything going so well for No. 23 New Mexico, coach Steve Alford had enough confidence in his team that he didn't feel the need for a high-energy, pregame pep talk.

When pesky TCU stayed close despite all its turnovers, Alford had a different approach at halftime of the Lobos' 73-57 victory Saturday.

"Halftime was spirited. I probably should have did it before the game, to be honest with you," Alford said.

The Lobos (20-3, 6-2 Mountain West) responded, with Darington Hobson keying a 9-0 spurt after they had only a two-point lead at halftime. They stretched their winning streak to six games and clinched their third consecutive 20-win season under Alford.

TCU (10-12, 2-5 Mountain West) was still within the halftime margin of two points before Hobson scored consecutive baskets to start the game-turning, 3-minute run. He capped the spurt with a tip-in with just under 13 minutes left to put New Mexico up by 11, and the margin never got closer to nine after that.

"It just woke us up," Hobson said of his coach's halftime speech.

"When you're 19-3, you've won five in a row, you've had really no bad stretches, sometimes you just have to trust them," Alford said. "They didn't do the things I thought they needed to do in the first half, so we had to have a little bit more spirited halftime to kick them a little bit. I thought they did a good job."

After trailing by as many as nine, TCU closed the first half with a 13-6 run and was within 30-28 when Ronnie Moss hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Hobson finished with 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting, following a three-game stretch in which he had only 19 points combined. He was 1-of-11 shooting with five points in the Lobos' 76-72 victory over No. 12 BYU on Wednesday night that ended the Cougars' 15-game winning streak.

"The games that I've been struggling, I felt like I was forcing it," Hobson said. "Coaches said that I really wasn't. I just had to get back to being aggressive. ... I told myself tonight that no matter what happened, I was going to keep my head, stay aggressive and try to make plays."

Phillip McDonald added 18 points and Roman Martinez 16 for the Lobos, whose winning streak has come since they started conference play with consecutive losses. Will Brown and Hobson had eight rebounds apiece.

Moss had a career-high 30 points, on 12-of-17 shooting with five 3-pointers, and eight assists. Zvonko Buljan, who is from Croatia and one of five international players on the roster, finished with 11 points after not making the trip with the team for Wednesday night's loss at Colorado State because of personal reasons.

TCU was still within 34-32 after Buljan's 3-pointer before Hobson took over.

New Mexico never trailed after McDonald's jumper six minutes into the game made it 11-10, and Hobson converted a steal into a 3-pointer about a minute later.

Buljan hit a 3 after getting a bounce pass from Moss but the Frogs had only one basket over the next eight minutes, when Nikola Cerina had a steal and passed to Moss, who penetrated the lane and made a layup between defenders.

Moss followed with turnovers on consecutive possessions, and TCU had five turnovers and four missed shots before Moss made a 17-foot bank shot with the shot clock running down with four minutes left in the half that cut New Mexico's lead to 24-17.

The Lobos, who scored 19 points off 16 TCU turnovers, now get a break. They don't play again until next Saturday, at home against San Diego State, before going to UNLV -- the two teams that beat them to start conference play.

"We were really good defensively for all 40 minutes," Alford said. "It's amazing what this squad has done: 6-2 in the league, 20 wins before we get to February. ... Now we get a week off. We'll take advantage."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
New Mexico #23 (20-3) «304373
TCU (10-12)282957
NM:Darington Hobson 19 Pts
NM:Will Brown 9 Reb
NM:Darington Hobson 6 Ast
TCU:Ronnie Moss 30 Pts
TCU:Zvonko Buljan 7 Reb
TCU:Ronnie Moss 8 Ast

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TCUNew Mexico
Ronnie Moss
Darington Hobson
New Mexico Lobos
D. Hobson, G-F366-86-776119
R. Martinez, F364-115-672116
P. McDonald, G306-113-463218
A. Hardeman, F202-31-41145
D. Gary, G182-22-21446
W. Brown, F210-32-29032
N. Garth, G170-31-20201
C. Dennis, G133-60-03016
C. Adams, G50-10-01000
J. Fenton, G40-10-01000
K. Nelson, GDid Not Play
M. Staff, FDid Not Play
Totals 23-4920-2736181673
TCU Horned Frogs
R. Moss, G3712-171-248330
E. Ruzgas, G352-70-22116
Z. Buljan, F254-91-471311
K. Butler, F240-20-04050
N. Cerina, F201-70-13052
G. Hill, G262-90-02015
X. Roberson, G171-30-02123
G. Green, F110-10-01000
K. Mitchem, G50-00-00020
M. Bavcevic, GDid Not Play
C. Kone, CDid Not Play
L. Lancon, FDid Not Play
H. Thorns, GDid Not Play
Totals 22-552-925112257
Mountain West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Colorado St.13-524-1266
Boise St.12-620-1272
Fresno St.11-720-1376
New Mexico10-817-1486
San Diego St9-919-1498
San Jose St.7-1114-16191
Utah St.7-1114-17181
Air Force4-1412-21251

Big 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
W. Virginia12-628-924
Iowa St.12-624-1121
Oklahoma St.9-920-1340
Kansas St.8-1021-1457
Texas Tech6-1218-14123
Other games
MU 70 Final
UConn 68
La Salle 52 Final
Temple 64
Louisville 74 Final
W Virg 77
DUKE 77 Final
NULL 50 Final
GT 98
Syracuse 59 Final
DEP 57
VANDY 72 Final
Kentucky 85
Arkansas 0 PPD
Ole Miss 0
Baylor 80 Final
Texas 77
Kansas 81 Final
K-State 79
Nwstern 70 Final
Mich St 79
UTEP 74 Final
UAB 65
Utah 69 Final
BYU 82
GONZ 77 Final
San Fran 81