Jan. 5, 2012
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FORT WORTH, Texas - Natalie Ventress scored 15 points Thursday night, but TCU dropped a hard-fought 56-54 decision to Texas-Pan American at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
Down by one in the closing seconds of the contest, senior Antoinette Thompson stole the rock from a Bronc player and the Frogs appeared to be in business with the ball in hand and only 29 seconds left to go in the game. After a quick timeout, sophomore Briesha Wynn drove to the bucket and put up a running shot with 19 seconds left, but the ball rattled out. Wynn tried to get redemption the next trip down the court after UTPA's Erin Lewis missed the front end of a free throw, but her shot came up short for a second-straight trip and the Broncs were able to escape with their first victory ever in a series that dates back to 1978.
Ventress led TCU (7-7) on the night with 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting from the field, while Wynn chipped in by tying a career-high with 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting. The sophomore also tallied a team-high seven boards. Ventress has now led TCU in scoring four out of the last five games, while also topping the scoring column for the Purple and White for a third-straight contest.
UTPA, now 7-11 on the year, was carried by Bianca Toree, who cashed in with 18 points on 6-of-10 from the field, including a sizzling 5-of-6 from behind the arc. LaQuita Garner was the only other Bronc player in double-figures with 11 points.
For a majority of the night, the Frogs appeared to be one possession away from putting the game away, but UTPA matched TCU's intensity by connecting on 42.9 percent from three-point land. Overall, TCU battled back from a halftime deficit on an 8-0 run to take a three-point lead in the second half by working the ball down low, but the Frogs couldn't connect down the stretch, which ultimately led to them dropping only their 10th game at home in 78 tries.
Just like she did to start the game, Wynn scored on the opening possession to ignite an 8-0 run by the Purple and White to start the second half. The sophomore then stole the rock and found Whitney Williams who dished it to a cutting Ventress to pull TCU within one at 29-28. Latricia Lovings would regain the Horned Frog lead at 30-29 at the 17:36 mark and the sophomore scored four of TCU's next six points to give TCU a 34-31 advantage.
UTPA would score seven-straight to regain the lead at 38-34, but the Frogs found Wynn off an inbound to halt the mini 7-0 run at the 11:40 mark.
With UTPA up 46-38, Ventress tried to power TCU back at the 10:10 mark, driving into the lane and connecting on a tough three-point play. The Frogs then went on an 8-2 run, which included a nice running lay-up from Williams to pull within four at 48-44 halfway through the period.
Wynn moved the score to 48-46, banking the rock off the glass and followed it up by tickling the twine on a jumper from the outside. Like they did all night, the Broncs answered right back to push the score back to 52-48.
With UTPA up 54-50, Wynn calmly went to the line and sank back-to-back free throws. The Broncs' Bianca Torre would answer hitting one-of-two on the other end and Ventress drilled two-straight to pull within one at 55-54.
Wynn had two solid looks down the stretch to put an end to Texas-Pan American's upset bid, but couldn't connect.
Wynn went right to work early in the game, scoring the first four points for the Frogs, including a nice turnaround jumper, which gave TCU a 4-3 lead early. On the very next possession, Ventress found fellow freshman Ashley Colbert down low who promptly powered home a layup to increase the TCU advantage.
The two teams would trade buckets with a little over 13 minutes to go in the half until Wynn found a cutting Williams who connected on a floater to push the TCU lead to 13-10 at the 13:26 mark.
UTPA would go on a 5-0 run to take its first lead of the game with a little over 8 minutes remaining in the opening frame, but Ventress would weave her way through the Bronc defense halfway through the first half to bring TCU within one at 17-16.
Jazz Parker and Lovings both scored buckets on consecutive trips, which included the sophomore beating the shot clock with 4:18 left in the opening frame, but UTPA would continue its hot shooting until Ventress looped the ball over the top for Lovings who scored easily to make the score 29-22 in favor of the Broncs.
Thompson brought the halftime deficit to 29-24, scoring on a running jumper in the final minutes of the half.
TCU closes out non-conference play with a 6:30 p.m. contest against Harvard on Saturday, Jan. 7 at the DMC.