Lobos beat TCU for 20th win

The Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas — Darington Hobson scored 19 points with some key second-half baskets and No. 23 New Mexico stretched its winning streak to six games with a 73-57 victory over TCU on Saturday.

Plagued by turnovers, pesky TCU was still close until Hobson scored consecutive baskets for the Lobos (20-3, 6-2 Mountain West) to start a 9-0 run over a 3-minute span in the second half. Hobson’s tip-in pushed the lead to 43-32 with just under 13 minutes left and the Horned Frogs never got closer than nine after that.

Before that spurt, TCU (10-12, 2-5) got within 34-32 on Zvonko Buljan’s 3-pointer.

The Lobos’ winning streak has come since starting conference play with consecutive losses. They clinched their third straight 20-win season under third-year coach Steve Alford.

Phillip McDonald had 18 points and Roman Martinez 16 for New Mexico, which won again three days after a 76-72 victory over No. 12 BYU that ended the Cougars’ 15-game winning streak. Will Brown had eight rebounds.

Ronnie Moss led TCU with 30 points, on 12-of-17 shooting with five 3-pointers, and eight assists. 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.

Moss hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer before halftime that capped a 13-6 run and got the Frogs within 30-28 after they had trailed by nine.

New Mexico went ahead to stay when 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 4 minutes left that cut New Mexico’s lead to 24-17.

The Lobos scored 19 points off 16 TCU turnovers.