TCU rallies past Air Force, ends MWC road skid

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Amric Fields drilled a 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining to give TCU the lead and J.R. Cadot hit two free throws with 3.3 seconds on the clock to clinch a 65-62 win against Air Force on Wednesday in front of 2,476 at Clune Arena.

On the game-winning possession, Connell Crossland, getting his third consecutive start, came up with a loose ball after Kyan Anderson was blocked on a drive in the paint. Crossland then fed Fields on the left side of the arc for the 3-pointer.

On the Falcons' ensuing possession, Crossland came up big defensively, too. He blocked Michael Lyons' attempted layup with eight seconds remaining. Cadot came up with a steal and was fouled before hitting two free throws to clinch the win. Taylor Broekhuis' 3-point attempt at the buzzer was too hard.

"Connell made a great hustle play and we kicked it out for a wide-open 3, and that's a big-time shot by Amric," TCU coach Jim Christian said. "You have to find a way to win."

It's the first league road win for the Horned Frogs (16-11, 6-5 Mountain West) since winning at Wyoming in February 2010. The Falcons drop to 13-12, 3-8.

"I was supposed to be the second option, but it was a broken play and Connell did a good job of finding me," said Fields, who finished with 10 points and the lone 3. "I just thank God it went in."

The win was all the more gratifying after narrow losses on the road, including Saturday at Boise State and at Colorado State in double overtime in January. Cadot led with 16 points and 13 rebounds and along with Crossland, and Nate Butler, came up with big steals in the final minutes. TCU hosts No. 18 New Mexico at 6 p.m. Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

"We're 30 seconds away from playing for first [place]," Christian said. "We know where we're at."

TCU prevailed despite Craig Williams being limited to just five minutes because of flu-like symptoms and Hank Thorns struggling (1 for 10) and in foul trouble. He fouled out with 1:23 remaining. Despite missing Williams, TCU had a big edge on the boards (44-26) and pulled down a season-high 22 offensive rebounds.

Stefan Stevenson


Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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