Jan. 15, 2013
Final Stats |
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In a physical game back and fourth game, TCU forced West Virginia into 24 turnovers Tuesday night, but couldn’t make enough plays down the stretch, dropping a close 58-50 decision to the Mountaineers at WVU Coliseum.
The Horned Frogs, who battled West Virginia all night, overcame a fast start by the Mountaineers and went to intermission tied at 27-27. TCU trailed by only two with 2:24 remaining in the game, but couldn’t get over the hump in the end, falling to 7-9 overall and 0-5 in league play. West Virginia improved to 11-5 overall and 3-2 in conference games.
On the night, the Purple and White controlled the paint, outscoring WVU, 20-16. The Frogs also held a 13-8 advantage in second-chance points. Junior Latricia Lovings dominated down low, blocking five shots, while also grabbing 13 rebounds, including eight on the defensive end of the court. The Fort Worth native continually throughout the contest hounded the Mountaineers into bad shots time and time again.
Freshman Veja Hamilton led the way for the Frogs with a new career-high 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Kamy Cole and Zahna Medley rounded out TCU’s double-digit scorers with 10 points apiece, respectively. Lovings added eight points, while going 4-of-5 from the free throw line.
West Virginia was carried by Christal Caldwell’s 14 points on 4-of-10 from the field, including 2-of-4 from deep. Taylor Palmer added 13 points to round out the Mountaineers top performers on the night.
Cole opened the second half by splitting the WVU defense to connect on a one-handed layup around a defender on the opening possession, which gave TCU a 29-27 lead. West Virginia responded though with a mini 5-0 run before Hamilton ripped the Mountaineers for four-straight points, including a pull-up jumper at the 16:03 mark, which gave TCU the lead at 33-32.
West Virginia would not back down though, pulling back in front at 34-33 with 12:41 showing on the scoreboard. Hamilton would have nothing of it as she scored on another backdoor layup on the very next possession. In all, the freshman scored six of the Frogs’ eight points in the period midway through the second half.
The two teams went back and fourth the next couple of trips until WVU darted out to a 48-40 lead with a little over five minutes remaining in the game. Medley ended the Mountaineer run, scoring a layup at the 5:41 mark.
A trey ball by Cole at the 4-minute mark brought TCU within 50-46 and Lovings then hit back-to-back shots at the charity stripe to pull the Frogs within two down the stretch. West Virginia went on to score six-straight before Medley connected on a pull back jumper to inch the Frogs closer with 24.9 seconds remaining in the contest. The Mountaineers were able to hold on in the end, making some key free throws in the final seconds to ice the game.
West Virginia jumped out to an 11-2 lead early in the contest, but Medley ended the Mountaineer run, draining a step-back triple three minutes into the game. Following a three by West Virginia, Cole and Natalie Ventress went to work, scoring running jumpers on consecutive trips to pull the Frogs within 16-9, but the Mountaineers fired right back by hitting their fifth three of the game.
With the score 19-9, TCU got defensive as Donielle Breaux and teammates swarmed the Mountaineers and forced a turnover halfway through the opening period. The two teams would go back-and fourth the next couple of trips. During the stretch, TCU held West Virginia without a bucket for over four minutes of action, while forcing four turnovers.
The Frogs would cut it to single-digits midway through when Whitney Williams tickled the twine from deep to pull the Purple and White within 21-14 at the 10:10 mark of the opening frame. WVU answered though with a bucket of its own before Medley found Hamilton on a backdoor to make it 23-16 with a little over eight minutes remaining in the first half.
A few plays later, Medley continued to power the Horned Frog offense, scoring a tough three-point play to make it 25-19 down the stretch. Lovings made it a four-point game at the 5:01 mark by all-out hustle. On the play, Breaux came up with the rock and found the junior on the look ahead whom promptly connected on the fastbreak layup.
TCU closed the half on an 8-2 run as Hamilton ripped the nets with a jumper and then found Lovings on the very next possession to make it a 27-25 game with a little over a minute to go in the opening frame. A floater just outside the lane by Breaux tied the game at 27-27 at the break.
The Horned Frogs will return home to take on Kansas State Saturday. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. CT.