Strong Second Half Propels TCU to Victory

Zahna Medley (14)

Nov. 16, 2012

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FORT WORTH, Texas - It was a tale of two halves Friday night as TCU trailed Central Florida by six at halftime, but opened the second half on a 10-2 run which helped propel them to a hard fought 61-55 victory at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

The Horned Frogs, who are now 1-1 on the year, pressured UCF all night, while holding the Knights to only 29.7 percent from the floor, including 19 percent from three-point land. In all, the Frogs struggled from the field for a majority of the night Friday, but were able to cash in from the free throw line down the stretch to secure the Frogs third victory in the series all-time and first of the young season.

Sophomore Natalie Ventress led the way for TCU, scoring a season-high 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting. The Fort Worth native went 7-of-9 from the charity stripe and seemed to spark the Frogs in the second half with timely buckets. Freshman Zahna Medley was the only other Frog in double-figures, scoring a new season and career-high 15 points. Latricia Lovings was solid for the Purple and White down low Friday, falling two-points short of her first career double-double. Lovings scored eight points and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field, while grabbing a game-high 10 boards, one shy of her career-high.

UCF, now 1-3 on the season, had three players score in double-figures Friday. Gevenia Carter led the way with 18 points on 6-of-14. Kayli Keough and Sara Djassi scored 13 and 10 points apiece, respectively.

Following intermission, TCU stormed out of the locker room, holding Central Florida without a bucket for nearly four minutes of action. Lovings got the Frogs going early in the second frame, scoring on the very first possession. Medley then knifed her way through the Knight defense the next trip down the court and TCU was in business. By the time the freshman found senior Delisa Gross down low for a tough three-point play, the Frogs regained the lead at 30-29.

The Purple and White would push the score to 33-31 a few moments later when Ventress scored on an old fashion three-point play with a little over 16 minutes remaining in the second frame. UCF would tie it at 33-33, but freshman Kamy Cole tickled the twine  and answered with five-straight points to give TCU a 38-33 advantage. During the stretch, the Frogs relentless and hounding pressure forced the Knights into a 0-for-7 showing from the field, with two turnovers.

With TCU clinging to a 39-35 lead, Ventress continued her hot shooting, scoring on a mid-range jumper halfway through the second half. The sophomore then went coast to coast following a steal and the Frogs seemed to have put the Knights away at 43-35, but Carter battled right back with a triple at the 9:58 mark to inch UCF back into the contest.

Following a couple of free throws by both squads and the Frogs clinging to a 46-42 lead, Medley turned the corner faked like she was going to pass it and scooped it in to regain the Horned Frogs six-point lead with a little over 7 minutes remaining in the second frame.

TCU would push it to 50-43 after a couple of free throws, but UCF continued to battle, pulling within three on a mini 5-0 run at the 4:35 mark of the half. Medley would have nothing of it, regaining a six-point cushion for the Frogs by drilling a triple down the stretch to make the scoreboard read 55-49 with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game.

Lovings' bucket with a minute to play pushed the Frog lead to 57-51 and TCU was able to cash in on some late free throws Friday to secure its first victory of the year.

In a back and fourth game early, Whitney Williams drove the lane and kicked it to Ventress who dialed it up from deep to give the Frogs a 5-2 lead at the 16:58 of the first half. The sophomore would score five of TCU's seven points to open the game. A turn-around jumper a few moments later by Lovings moved the Frog advantage to 7-3.

In the midst of a 12-2 run, the Purple and White turned up the heat defensively as UCF scored 38 seconds into the game and didn't score again from the floor until 10:15 showed on the scoreboard. TCU's stifling defense held the Knights to 1-of-11 shooting from the floor during that stretch.

With the score 12-8 in favor of the Frogs, UCF went on a 21-5 run to regain the lead at 29-17. Medley stalled the run for a moment halfway through the opening frame, driving the lane and finding Ashley Colbert down low for a bucket, but TCU couldn't find the bottom of the net down the stretch despite several quality chances.

Ventress pulled the Frogs within 10 at 29-19, connecting on a jumper in the closing minute and Medley drilled four-straight at the line to bring the halftime score to 29-23 in slight favor of Central Florida.

TCU will next be in action Sunday, Nov. 25 at Texas State. Start time is set for 3:00 p.m. CT.



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