Medley Leads TCU to Victory Wednesday Night

Latricia Lovings (21)

Nov. 28, 2012

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FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU used a record shooting performance from freshman Zahna Medley and some timely free throws down the stretch to claim a 76-70 victory over crosstown rival SMU Wednesday night at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

On a night where Medley was unconscious from deep, the Illinois native time and time again drained triple after triple in the second half to help the Horned Frogs turn a one-point halftime lead into their 16th victory in the all-time series. She simply could not be stopped, hitting 9-of-12 from behind the arc for a game and career-high 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting. 

In the second half alone, Medley, who also grabbed five boards against the Mustangs, took over, scoring 18 points off six triples. In all, the freshman not only tied the school and DMC record for most three's made in a single-game by Amy Sutton Porter in 1999, but also broke the all-time freshman mark of eight set by former Frog great Jill Sutton in 1998 against San Jose State. Finally, Medley also helped rewrite the Big 12 record books Wednesday as her nine three's are tied for the fourth-most in conference history. Only three other players in conference history have hit one more three in a single-game. 

In a game that featured five ties and 12 lead changes, the Frogs simply outfought the Mustangs on the night through grit and determination on the defensive end of the court, forcing SMU into 17 turnovers. Leading the way for TCU was junior Latricia Lovings, who grabbed a new career-high 13 boards, while also blocking five shots. She fell one block shy of tying her previous career-high of six, which she set earlier this year against Charlotte. 

Not to be outdone, Natalie Ventress scored 14 points and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe, while Veja Hamilton, who recorded her first career start Wednesday, tallied eight points, six boards and four assists. 

SMU was led by Akil Simpson who scored 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting, but was held in check for most of the second half by a relentless Horned Frog defense. Alisha Filmore tallied 14 points, while Korina Baker totaled 12 for the Mustangs Wednesday. 

With the win, TCU, who shot 41.7 percent from the field, moved to 2-2 overall, while SMU dropped to 5-2 on the young season. 

Medley got right to work in the second half, breaking a Mustang defender down off a crossover before tickling the twine to give TCU a 38-37 advantage during the opening stages of the second half. SMU answered with a three of its own to regain the lead at 40-38 on the very next trip before Hamilton connected on a jumper to tie it at 40-40 at the 18:15 mark of the second half. 

SMU would push the score to 44-40, but Medley continued her hot offensive shooting, dropping another trey to pull the Frogs within one a few possessions later. 

After two-straight three's by Baker, the two teams continued to go back and fourth until Lovings went to work down low, connecting on a reverse layup to make the score 54-48 in slight favor of the Mustangs. On the very next trip, Medley knocked down her sixth three of the contest to pull the Frogs within three at 54-51 at the 13:54 mark. 

TCU regained the lead at 55-54 halfway through the second half off a 7-0 run, which was spearheaded by relentless pressure on the defensive end of the court by the Frogs. SMU would regain the momentum at 56-55 before Hamilton knocked one down from the middle of the lane to regain the TCU lead. 

SMU would continue to battle though, jumping out to a 63-60 advantage with 3:59 left. A couple of free throws by Ventress pulled TCU within one down the stretch and the Frogs and Mustangs went back and fourth the next couple of trips. 

Just like she had done all night, Medley answered, dropping a deep triple with a little over two minutes remaining in the game to tie it at 67-67. On the play, Ventress kicked it back out to the freshman, who buried it from the top of the key to tie Jill Sutton as the only other freshman in program history to hit eight three's in a single-game. 

With the game tied at 67-67, Medley drained another trey ball and by doing so helped rewrite the TCU record books. The Illinois native, who with the shot broke the all-time freshman mark of most three's made in a single-game, calmly stepped back and watched as the rock hit the back of the rim and fell through the hoop to give TCU a three-point cushion. The Horned Frogs were able to cash in on some key free throws down the stretch to record a 76-70 victory.  

In a prelude of things to come, Medley got the Frogs going early in the contest, drilling her first of nine three's a minute into the game. A few moments later, Ventress dropped in a jumper from the corner, but SMU continued to battle before Kamy Cole tickled the twine at the 18:02 mark of the opening frame to make the scoreboard read 8-4 early in favor of the Frogs. 

SMU then went on a 7-2 run midway through the first half to take a 11-10 lead, but it was short lived as Hamilton found Ashley Colbert on the block, who powered it home to regain the Frog lead and ignite a 7-0 run for the Purple and White. On the very next possession, Medley ripped the nets from deep and the Frogs were in business, now up 15-11 at the 11:52 mark. 

TCU would push it to 17-11 off a bucket from Hamilton, but the Mustangs pulled within two at the 9:56 mark before Ventress found Lovings down low for the easy layup on the very next possession. 

With the scoreboard 22-17 in favor of the Frogs, SMU was able to tie the game at 22-22 on a mini 5-0 run with a little over six minutes to go in the half. Colbert would have nothing of it though, putting an end to the short run off a put back. On the next trip down the court, Medley dropped it in from deep off an assist from senior Delisa Gross to give TCU a 27-22 lead down the stretch. 

The freshman then found a cutting Ventress and the Frogs were once again in business, causing havoc on the both sides of the court as Whitney Williams took a charge on one end and then found a wide-open Lovings who scored it from the center of the lane to increase the Frog lead to 31-22.

The two teams would continue to battle down the stretch as SMU would fight its way back to take a 34-32 lead before Gross nailed a trey in the final seconds to give the Frogs a 35-34 advantage at the break

TCU will next be in action Sunday against Houston. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. CT from the DMC.



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