TCU Continues Homestand Against Texas-Pan American Thursday

Delisa Gross (22)

Jan. 3, 2012




TCU Horned Frogs (7-6, 0-0 Mountain West)
Head Coach: Jeff Mittie
Career Record: 418-191 (7-6 Season)
School Record: 267-132 (13th Season)

Texas-Pan American (6-11, 0-0 Great West)
Head Coach: Denny Downing
UTPA Career Record: 31-47 (6-11 season) 

Location: Fort Worth, Texas • Arena: Daniel-Meyer Coliseum 
Rankings: TCU - NR/NR • UTPA - NR/NR
Last Time Out: TCU defeated Texas Southern, 66-38
Television: None 
Television Talent: None
Live Video: 
Live Audio: 
Live Stats: (Gametracker)
Radio: KTCU (88.7 FM) Jeff Williams (Play-By-Play); Jeff Lewis (Color)
Twitter Updates:
Series Record vs. UTPA:  TCU leads, 8-0
Last Meeting vs. UTPA: Dec. 12, 1998 (W, 72-59)

FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU will open 2012 Thursday with a 6:30 p.m. matchup against Texas-Pan American at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. In what is the first meeting between the two Texas schools since 1998, the Horned Frogs have never lost to the Broncs in eight tries and will be going for their fourth-straight win at the friendly confines of the DMC this season.

The Opponent
Texas Pan-American comes into Thursday's game fresh off a 73-66 defeating of Our Lady of the Lake University Monday night. UTPA brings a 6-11 record into the game and have won two-straight having defeated UTSA and the Saints in its last two outings. The Broncs have been led this season by LaQuita Ganer and Donna Jackson who average 11.3 and 10.1 points per game, respectively. 

The Series
TCU and Texas-Pan American will be meeting for the ninth time in program history Thursday. The Horned Frogs have won all eight meeting's against the Broncs, but haven't played the fellow Texas school since the 1998 season. Overall, TCU, who defeated UTPA by a final score of 72-59 in 1998, has won all four home games by an average margin of 38.5 points, including a 121-53 outburst in 1987. 

Ventress Starting To Heat Up
Freshman Natalie Ventress has led TCU in scoring three out of the last four games, including a 15-point outing against Texas Southern. So far this season, the freshman has led the Frogs in scoring five times, becoming the first Horned Frog freshman to lead the Purple and White in scoring in five games since former Horned Frog and current professional Helena Sverrisdottir carried TCU in eight games during the 2007-08 season. By leading the Frogs in scoring the last two games, Ventress joined Sverrisdottir as the only freshman to lead a TCU squad in scoring in back-to-back games since the Iceland native did so in three out of four games in February of 2008.

A Tidbit On Thursday's Game
When TCU takes to the court Thursday, it will mark head coach Jeff Mittie's 400th coached game at TCU. In 13 years in Fort Worth, Mittie is 267-132 overall and has taken the program to 11-straight postseason appearances, including nine NCAA Tournaments. 

Some Key Notes
TCU had every active player score against Texas Southern, marking the second-straight season in which the Frogs have accomplished that feat against the Tigers. On a side note, recently added Elizabeth Nagel, a sophomore transfer from Harding University, has been lights out from deep, connecting on her first two three-pointers of her TCU career, which includes tickling the twine on her very first shot attempt as a Horned Frog against Oklahoma.  

Holding Their Own
TCU held Texas Southern without a three-pointer during the first half, marking the second-straight home game an opponent has went scoreless from deep during a half. The Frogs are now 3-0 this season when accomplishing that feat, having done so at Houston earlier this year as well.  In the past two seasons, TCU has now held six different opponents to no triples during a half of play, with its only loss in that stretch coming to West Virginia. 

Wynn Stepping Up Her Play
Sophomore Briesha Wynn has been making her presence known on the offensive end of the court since the beginning of December. The sophomore scored in double-figures in four of the Horned Frogs seven games last month, including three out of the last five. During the past two years, the Horned Frogs have been almost automatic in the win column when Wynn scores double-digit points, going a combined 8-1, with its only loss coming to Texas A&M last month when she scored a career-high 14 points.

Iron Unkind From Three-Point Land
Heading into Thursday's game against Texas-Pan American, the Frogs have held six different opponents to less than 20 percent shooting from behind the arc, including Texas Southern who shot 12.5 percent and didn't make a single-three in the first half, going 0-for-6. In six of TCU's victories this winter, UTSA (10.3), Fordham (19.2), Houston (15.4), Sam Houston State (16.7), Tulsa (16.7) and TSU (12.5) have all shot under 20 percent from three. The Frogs are now 18-1 the last three seasons when holding the opposition to under 20 percent. TCU's only loss came last season against  future conference opponent West Virginia when the Mountaineers shot 16.6 percent from three and won.

Holding Opponents In Check
So far this season, TCU has held seven different opponents under 30 percent shooting from the field (UTSA, SMU, Fordham, Houston, Sam Houston State, Tulsa and Texas Southern). During the last four years, the Frogs have been almost perfect record wise when holding the opposition to less than 34.9 percent from the field, going 42-4 overall since the 2008-09 season.

Causing Havoc On The Defensive End Of The Court
In six out of the last seven games, the Frogs have forced 20 + turnovers on the defensive end of the court. Against Texas Southern, TCU caused the Tigers to cough the ball up 20 times, which follows outings of Texas A&M (24), Lamar (22), Houston (22), Sam Houston State (22) and Oklahoma (26). The Frogs have turned those turnovers into points on the offensive end, holding a combined 130-96 advantage in points off turnovers.

Defending The Rim
Led by sophomore Larticia Lovings' three blocks, the Horned Frogs totaled 10 blocks against Texas Southern, which marks the fifth time this season the Frogs have blocked at least eight shots in a single-game. TCU's record during those five contests is 4-1, with the only loss coming to Hartford. Overall, the Purple and White have totaled 82 blocks after 13 games. In comparison, TCU tallied only 136 blocks a year ago in 33 games.

Moving Up The Charts
Going into Thursday's game against UTPA, sophomore Latricia Lovings sits in the top 10 all-time in program history in blocked shots. Lovings, who currently sits No. 10 all-time in school history, already has 51 blocks in her young career, which is quite impressive considering that she has only played in a total of 36 games. She only needs two more to overtake Vanessa Clementino (2004-06) at No. 9. With four more blocks, the sophomore will move into a tie with Janice Thomas (1999-01) and Amy Bumsted (1990-94) for No. 7 all-time in blocked shots.

NCAA Stats Update
As the Frogs entered this week's game, TCU ranked in the top 50 in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (No. 9 - 31.6), three-point field goal defense (No. 34 - 25.4) and blocked shots per game (No. 10 - 6.3). Individually, sophomore Latricia Lovings currently sits No. 29 in the nation in blocks per game (2.3), while junior Whitney Williams ranked No. 27 in assists turnover ratio (2.2).

Last Time Out
TCU used an aggressive and strong defensive performance last Saturday to defeat Texas Southern in its final game of 2011 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, 66-38.

The Horned Frogs, now 7-6 on the season, simply suffocated the Tigers (1-9), limiting them to only 14 made buckets the entire afternoon on 55 shot attempts for a grand total of 25.5 percent. By holding Texas Southern to only 25.5 percent from the field, TCU has now held seven different opponents to under 30 percent shooting and improved to 42-4 overall when doing so since 2008-09. The Purple and White's defense also held TSU to 12.5 percent from behind the arc on 2-of-16 shooting. 

When it was all said-and done, TCU, who only had eight turnovers the entire game, simply dominated from start to finish, outscoring Texas Southern in the paint, 32-14, while forcing the Tigers into 20 turnovers, which resulted in a 24-5 advantage in points off turnovers.  The Purple and White's bench did most of the damage as the Horned Frogs, who outrebounded Texas Southern, outscored TSU off the bench, 30-18.

On a day in which every active Horned Frog player scored, Natalie Ventress led the way for TCU, scoring 15 points on 7-of-16 from the field. The freshman has now scored in double-figures in two-straight contests and three out of the last four games.

Up Next
TCU closes out non-conference play with a 6:30 p.m. contest against Harvard on Saturday, Jan. 7 at the DMC. 



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