TCU falls to SMU and loses key player to knee injury

SMU coach Larry Brown didn't want to stomach it. Neither did TCU coach Trent Johnson.

It wasn't pretty for either coach or anyone at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum to witness Frogs junior forward Amric Fields hit the floor in pain 12 seconds into the game. Fields cut across the lane, caught a pass and then his right knee buckled when he planted his foot.

Fields left the game with a right knee injury and, after the Mustangs held on for a 64-61 victory Thursday, Johnson delivered somber news.

"Without hearing the doctor's report, I've got to believe he's done," Johnson said. "It's bad. It's bad."

If Fields is done, Johnson has lost two players for the season a week into it. Freshman center Aaron Durley was lost before the season started, suffering a knee injury in practice.

It's two big blows for a program set to make its debut in the deep and talented Big 12, but Johnson isn't going to call the season a lost cause.

"Don't feel sorry for us, don't feel sorry for TCU, don't feel sorry for me," Johnson said. "We're going to come out and go to work. That's all part of this game. For me, I tend to feel for the player. That's what I do. It's all about the kids and all about the players.

"It's just unfortunate we have two guys who would have really helped this basketball team we can't have this year, but somebody else has to step up and play."

Without Fields, the Frogs stayed within striking distance all night. The Mustangs, though, never trailed.

SMU grabbed an early lead and maintained a two-possession lead for most of the first half. TCU pulled to within 25-24 with 2:28 left on a putback by Garlon Green.

But SMU closed the half strong, going on an 8-2 run for a 33-26 lead into the locker rooms. SMU led by as many as 11 in the second half, taking a 47-36 lead on a 3-pointer by Jalen Jones with 13:17 left.

TCU pulled to within one possession, 58-55, with 3:02 left, and had multiple opportunities to close the gap down the stretch. The Frogs, however, missed free throws and made poor late-game decisions.

"We didn't get enough 50-50 balls, and turnovers hurt us," said Green, who led the Frogs with 20 points.

Said Johnson: "The difference in winning and losing is late-game situations. That's poise. That's confidence. That's being in that situation."

For Brown and the Mustangs, it was a solid road win. SMU isn't a deep team, either, and had its own loss earlier in the week when freshman Blaise Mbargorba was lost for the year with a shoulder injury.

Brown felt for the Frogs and Fields afterward.

"It made me sick to my stomach seeing that," Brown said. "I've been through it before and there's no explanation for it. You can't explain it, can't overcome it. We were very fortunate we won the game. I don't think the outcome would be quite the same if he played."

Drew Davison


Twitter: @drewdavison

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