ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP)—Guards Darren Prentice and Ryan Kersten hit key 3-pointers down the stretch and New Mexico held TCU scoreless over the final four minutes to take a 56-54 win Wednesday night.
New Mexico (11-5, 2-1 MWC) won its 20th straight game at home, the fifth longest such winning streak in the nation. But the Lobos had to rally from a seven-point deficit late in the second half, then survived a flurry of last second shots by the Horned Frogs (4-12, 0-2 MWC) that could have won the game or forced overtime.
Nile Murry led the Frogs with 18 points.
TCU nearly pulled off the win by hitting 8 3-pointers. But the Frogs, who shot just 32.7 percent for the game, couldn’t get a shot to fall at the end.
Kersten, a freshman from Australia, broke a 54-54 tie with a layup with 1:58 left. Kersten rebounded a missed shot by Murry, raced down the court and wedged his way through a couple of TCU players to hit what turned out to be the final points of the night.
TCU’s Neiman Owens missed a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left but the Frogs rebounded the miss and called a time-out. When play resumed Murry misfired on a 2-point shot and teammate Judson Stubbs got another offensive board for the Frogs. As the final seconds ticked away Brent Hackett missed a 3-pointer and Murry’s off-balance rebound and attempt at the buzzer came up short.
New Mexico trailed 54-47 with 4:20 left after Murry hit a 12-footer. Prentice, who finished with a season-high 8 points, hit a 3-pointer. Murry was called for a charging foul seconds later and Kersten hit a 3 with 3:36 remaining to cut the Frogs lead to 54-53.
New Mexico’s Mark Walters hit one of two free throws with 2:31 left to tie it and Kersten followed with his coast-to-coast lay-up.
David Chiotti led New Mexico in scoring with 12 points, nine of them in the first half. Walters scored 10.