March 2, 2013
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FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU closed the home portion of its schedule in style Saturday afternoon, stunning No. 23 Iowa State at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, 61-58.
The Horned Frogs, who led by as many as 16 in the second half, opened the second frame of play on a 16-5 run and never looked back, claiming their second conference victory of the season in exciting fashion by making timely plays both offensively and defensively down the stretch. During the opening run, ISU didn't even make a bucket from the field until 14:02 showed on the scoreboard, which was thanks to TCU's relentless defensive pressure.
With the win, the Horned Frogs moved to 9-19 overall and 2-15 in league play, while Iowa State dropped to 20-7 overall and 11-6 in conference action. The Frogs, who have now defeated at least two ranked opponents during a single-season four out of the last six years, claimed their 19th victory all-time against a ranked foe under head coach Jeff Mittie. TCU also moved to 180-46 at home under Mittie, which includes 83 victories in its last 104 games at the DMC.
Iowa State, who saw their two-game winning streak snapped Saturday, pulled within two in the closing minute, but the Frogs were able to ice the game at the line with 22 seconds left to claim their first victory over the Cyclones in program history.
In a fitting ending to her home career, senior Delisa Gross made it count as she sparked the Frogs Saturday with several key baskets en route to a season-high 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 from deep. Freshman Zahna Medley led the TCU attack with a team-high 18 points and four assists.
Iowa State was carried by Brynn Williamson who scored a game-high 20 points, while Hallie Christofferson posted 13 points and five boards.
On the day, the Frogs, who shot 41.8 percent from the field, controlled the paint, out-scoring ISU down low, 22-10. The Frogs did a majority of their damage off the bench, holding a 23-5 advantage. TCU also posted a 21-9 advantage in points off turnovers Saturday.
Medley opened the second half, pushing the Frog lead to 35-28, drilling a floater inside the lane. Veja Hamilton continued the Purple and White's offensive production at 37-28 on the very next trip, dropping a mid-range jumper. A few possessions later, Medley gave the Frogs an 11-point lead with 16:07 showing on the clock, scoring a beautiful reverse layoff high off the glass.
The Frogs went up 49-33 with a little over 14 minutes remaining in the game, but Iowa State answered with a three from the corner to make it 49-36 in favor of the Purple and White. Sophomore Chelsea Prince answered right back though, driving past her defender and gliding in for the tough layup, which made the scoreboard read 51-36.
With the Frogs clinging to a 51-38 lead halfway through the second frame of play, Iowa State made it a 10-point game, nailing a three at the 9:37 mark of the period. The Cyclones pulled within eight a few moments later, but Natalie Ventress would have nothing of it, knifing her way through the lane for the bucket with 6:04 showing on the scoreboard.
TCU moved its lead to 55-43 down the stretch when Gross faked out her defender and kissed the rock off the glass for an uncontested layup at the 5:38 mark of the half. The senior continued her offensive production a minute later, draining her third three of the game from the corner, which pushed the Frogs up 58-47.
Iowa State would not back down though, pulling the game to 59-57 off a 10-1 run, but Kamy Cole was able to knock down some key free throws down the stretch to record TCU's second conference victory of the year.
Ventress got the Frogs rolling early, beating the shot clock and her defender for a layup on the opening possession. Following a triple by the Cyclones, Hamilton ripped the nets for a jumper, which gave TCU a 4-3 lead two minutes into the contest.
Iowa State was able to stymie the Frog offensive attack though, jumping out to a 12-4 lead at the 17:13 mark of the opening frame of play. Donielle Breaux ended the ISU run, dropping a triple from the left side of the court off an assist by Whitney Williams.
With the scoreboard reading 14-7 in slight favor of Iowa State, the two teams went back and fourth until Gross tickled the twine from deep to pull the Frogs within four at 14-10 with a little over 14 minutes remaining. The Purple and White continued to roll midway through as Lovings powered home a layup to make the score, 15-12.
Ventress moved the score to 19-16 a few moments later as she drove to the hole and found the bottom of the net. Down the stretch, Gross made it a two-point game, beating the shot clock with a triple, but Iowa State answered with a tough three-point play on the other end to go back up 24-19.
Back-to-back triples by Medley in the last three minutes of the half pulled the Frogs within one at 27-26 before Gross gave TCU a one-point lead at 28-27 off a jumper. Medley ended the half, recording her third three of the opening frame as time expired, which gave the Frogs a 33-28 lead at the break.
The Horned Frogs will close out the regular season Tuesday at Kansas.