TCU Drops 85-79 Decision to No. 14 Oklahoma

Natalie Ventress (24)

Natalie Ventress (24)

Jan. 9, 2013

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FORT WORTH, Texas - On a night that featured six ties and 18 lead changes, a young TCU squad took No. 14 Oklahoma down to the wire Wednesday, but came up just short, falling in the closing minute to the Sooners at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, 85-79.

In a back and fourth game, the Horned Frogs, who led by one with 1:50 showing on the clock Wednesday, simply could not miss, shooting a season-high 44.6 percent from the field, including a whopping 12-of-27 from behind the arc for 44.4 percent. During the first half alone, TCU shot 53.3 percent from three-point land on 8-of-15 shooting from the field. The Frogs' 12 triples tied a DMC record, while also ranking as the fifth-most in a single-game in program history. TCU also totaled a season-high 22 assists on the night, which was spearheaded by freshman Zahna Medley's new school and DMC record 13 assists. Her 13 assists were the most since Emma Wilson dished out 12 against SMU on Jan. 25, 1997.

Individually, Natalie Ventress simply could not be stopped Wednesday, scoring a new career-high 27 points on 8-of-14 from the floor, including 5-of-7 from deep. By scoring 27 points, the sophomore has now posted nine career 20-point games. She did most of her damage in the first half where she connected for 23 points, while going 5-of-6 from three. Simply put, the Fort Worth native was unconscious during the opening frame, outscoring the entire Oklahoma team during a stretch of play, 12-6.

Not to be outdone, Medley and Kamy Cole chipped in with 11 points apiece, respectively, while fellow freshman Veja Hamilton ripped the Sooners for 10 points on 5-of-9 from the floor. In all, Medley recorded her first career double-double with 11 points and 13 assists.

Oklahoma was led on the night by Aaryn Ellenberg who scored a game-high 26 points on 10-of-21. Joanna McFarland added 24 points, while also grabbing 11 boards. Morgan Hook followed with 13 points and 12 assists, while Sharane Campbell recorded 11 to close out OU's double-digit scorers.

With the loss, TCU moved to 7-7 overall and 0-3 in league play, while Oklahoma improved to 13-2 overall and 3-0 in conference action. 

Medley opened the second half continuing the Frogs hot shooting from deep, scoring a triple off the glass during the opening stages of the period. Hamilton then ripped the nets to give the Frogs a 49-43 lead early on in the half. 

With TCU up 49-46, Medley went back to work from behind the arc, draining her second-consecutive three to push the Frog advantage to 52-46 at the 17:28 mark. The Sooners would not back down though, going on a 7-0 run to regain the lead at 53-52 before Cole rattled the rock around the rim for a three with a little over 14 minutes remaining.  On the very next trip down the court, Ventress would score and the Frogs pushed their lead to 57-53.

TCU was in the midst of an 8-0 run when Cole dialed up another three midway through the period to give TCU a 61-53 lead. Oklahoma continued to fight though, tying it at 63-63 off a 10-2 run before Latricia Lovings powered home a reverse layup to end the Oklahoma run with 8:27 left in the game. 

Medley then went to work, splitting the defense and dropping the rock to Hamilton down low for the bucket. By the time Cole connected on a jumper, the Frogs were back on top 69-63 with 7:13 showing on the scoreboard. OU would bring it back to 69-67, but Medley promptly made a beautiful lob pass to Lovings down low to end the mini-run. 

With the scoreboard 73-73 and 2:43 showing on the clock, Oklahoma knocked down a trey to take a slight 76-73 lead, but Ventress cut it to one at the charity stripe. Medley then dished the rock to Lovings down low for a new DMC and school record, which also helped TCU a take a 77-76 lead at the 1:50 mark. 

OU closed out the game scoring eight out of the final 10 points to secure the victory.

Ventress, who scored 11 points during the first 10 minutes of play, got the Purple and White going early, draining a triple to open the game from the left side of the court. Oklahoma came back down though and drilled a trey of its own to take a 5-3 lead during the opening stages of the contest. On the very next trip, Hamilton tied the game at 5-5, ripping the next from just inside the arc. 

The two teams would battle back and fourth until the Frogs hit two in-a-row from behind the arc, including a deep triple from Medley at the 16:55 mark, which gave TCU an early 11-10 advantage. 

Cole tickled the twine a few plays later and the Frogs were off and running as Medley found Ventress on the left side of the court following a steal to give the Purple and White a 21-16 lead with a little over 13 minutes remaining in the opening frame. During the 8-0 run for the Frogs, TCU forced three turnovers, while hounding the Sooners on the offensive end of the court. 

Oklahoma would battle back to take a 24-23 lead, but Delisa Gross would have nothing of it, scoring a layup to regain the one-point advantage midway through the first half. The senior continued her offensive production down the stretch of the opening frame, pulling up for a three to bring the Frogs within one at 29-28 with a little over 8 minutes remaining in the half. 

Ventress would give the Frogs a 31-29 lead as she continued her hot shooting from behind the arc, draining her fourth three of the first period with 6:03 showing on the scoreboard. The sophomore would go on to score four more at the charity stripe to increase the TCU lead to 35-31 before Cole found Lovings on a give and go in the final couple of minutes of the half. 

In all, Ventress simply took over down the stretch of the first half, scoring 12 of the Frogs next 14 points, to push TCU on top 42-37.  The sophomore outscored OU all by herself, 12-6, during the stretch. The Horned Frogs took a 44-39 lead into intermission. 

TCU will travel to Iowa State Saturday for a 6:00 p.m. CT contest.



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