Horned Frogs Set For New Mexico Saturday

Meagan Henson (5)

Feb. 24, 2012




TCU Horned Frogs (14-13, 7-5 Mountain West)
Head Coach: Jeff Mittie
Career Record: 425-198 (14-13 Season)
School Record: 274-139 (14th Season)

New Mexico (9-17, 3-9 Mountain West)
Head Coach: Yvonne Sanchez
New Mexico Career Record: 9-17 (9-17 season)

Location: Albuquerque, N.M. • Arena: The Pit 
Rankings: TCU - NR/NR • New Mexico - NR/NR
Last Time Out: TCU defeated Air Force, 61-31
Television: None
Television Talent: None
Live Video: http://golobos.com/allaccess  
Live Audio: http://gofrogs.cstv.com/allaccess 
Live Stats: GoFrogs.com (Gametracker)
Radio: KTCU (88.7 FM) Jeff Williams (Play-By-Play); Jeff Lewis (Color)
Twitter Updates: http://twitter.com/TCUWbasketball
Series Record vs. UNM:  TCU leads, 10-9
Last Meeting vs. UNM: Jan. 28, 2012 (W, 63-56)

FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU will put the finishing touches on its road schedule Saturday when it takes on New Mexico at The Pit. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. CT. The Horned Frogs, now winners of two-straight, will be going for their fourth-consecutive victory over the Lobos. Overall, TCU has won four out of the last five meetings against New Mexico.

The Opponent
New Mexico comes into Saturday's contest with a 9-17 overall record and a 3-9 mark in the Mountain West after upsetting Colorado State in its last outing, 53-45. Against the Rams, four players scored in double-figures as Caroline Durbin went 3-of-3 from three-point land to total 16 points, while Porsche Torrance also reached double-figures with 12 points. Durbin has led the way for the Lobos this season, averaging 15.6 points per game, while Torrance is having a solid senior campaign with 11.0 points per game and 8.6 boards.

The Series
TCU and New Mexico will be meeting for the 20th time in program history Saturday. The Horned Frogs currently lead the series at 10-9 as the Frogs have won three-straight over the Lobos. Overall, TCU, who has won four out of the last five in the series, cashed in on an 84-71 decision in Albuquerque last season for only its second win ever at the historic Pit.

Horned Frogs Outstanding On Defense
TCU held Air Force to only 17.3 percent from the floor, which currently sits No. 3 all-time in school history for lowest field goal percentage by a team in a single-game. For the year, the Frogs have posted some stifling defensive numbers, which has helped them rewrite the record books numerous times.

UTSA - 13.3 % (No. 2 all-time in lowest field goal percentage by an opponent)
Air Force - 17.3 % (No. 3 all-time in lowest field goal percentage by an opponent)
Houston - 19.1 % (No. 4 all-time in lowest field goal percentage by an opponent)

Breaking Down The Conference Tournament
With only two game remaining in the regular-season and March Madness approaching, the Frogs are currently tied with Wyoming for fourth-place in the conference standings. TCU has a record of 7-5 overall in conference play, while UNLV and Colorado State sit tied at third with an 8-4 overall record. Based on conference  guidelines, the Frogs still have chance to earn the No. 2 seed, but in order to do so, they would need to win both of their remaining games and have UNLV go 0-2, while the Rams would need to split at 1-1 down the stretch. 

Tie Breaker Rules - If two teams tie for a position, and one holds a win-loss advantage during regular season play, that team receives the higher seed. If the two teams split their games during the regular season, each tied team's record shall be compared against the team occupying the highest position in the standings, continuing down through the standings until one team gains the advantage, thereby gaining the higher seed.

Ventress Making Case For Freshman Of The Year
In two out of the last three games, Natalie Ventress not only became the first player under head coach Jeff Mittie to post two-straight halves of 20 or more points, but also joins Wright State's Kim Demmings as the only freshmen nationally to accomplish scoring 20-plus points in a single-half in two games. Overall, Ventress, who has scored 20 or more points in six out of the last 11 games, ranks No. 15 amongst all freshmen nationally in points per game.  She is the only freshman in the Mountain West to score at least 20 points in six contests.

Ventress joins Iona's Damika Martinez as the only freshman in the country to lead their respective conferences in scoring during league games.  Ventress ranks No. 6 overall nationally amongst all freshmen in scoring in conference games. 

Freshmen During Conference Play Nationally
Rank Name, School - Points Per Game
1. Damika Martinez, Iona - 19.4 (Ranks First In MAC)
2. Kim Demmings, Wright St. - 18.8
3. Jazmine Davis, Washington - 18.7 (Ranks Second In Pac-12)
4. Shareta Brown, Detroit - 18.7
5. Rachel Banham, Minnesota - 18.6 (Ranks Fifth In Big 10)
6. Natalie Ventress, TCU - 17.5 (Ranks First In The Mountain West)
7. Cartaesha Macklin, Southern Ill. - 16.9
8. Shonese Jones, UNC Asheville - 16.6
9. Taylor Gault, UALR - 15.0
10. Tierra Hawkins, Delaware St. - 15.8

Prince Getting After It Defensively
In two out of the last three games, the Frogs have forced 61 turnovers, while stealing the ball 35 times. Freshman Chelsea Prince has been the main ball hawk during that time, stealing the rock 15 times, which included two-straight games of six steals against the likes of UNLV and Boise State, respectively. By doing so, Prince posted the most steals during a two-game stretch since Helena Sverrisdottir recorded 12 steals in back-to-back games against San Diego State (5) and UNLV (7) last season. 

Ventress Joins Rare Company
By scoring 20 points in the second half against UNLV and 21 against Boise State, Natalie Ventress became only the third player since 2007-08 to score 20 or more points in a single-half and the first to do so in two-straight games. The freshman joins former Horned Frogs TK LaFleur, who netted 21 in the second half against Maryland in 2008 and Adrianne Ross, who tallied 23 in second half action against Florida in 2007. Around the nation, Ventress is one of only now 60 players in the NCAA who have scored 20 or more in a half, which includes 15 who have had 25-plus halves. In all, if Ventress keeps her current pace, she will become the first freshman to lead TCU in scoring for a season since the 1997-98 season when Jill Sutton averaged 13.3 points per game.

TCU Making Opponents Pay At The Line
Since the beginning of league play, the Frogs have shot 80 percent or better from the charity stripe during second half action in seven games. 

Getting After It Following Intermission
In four out of the last six games, TCU has forced UNLV, Colorado State, San Diego State and Wyoming to shoot significantly lower percentage wise in the second half when compared to their first half totals. During that stretch, all six teams have combined to only make 57 shots on 170 attempts during the second frame of play, while only UNLV and Boise State has made a total of 10 field goals in the second half. 

February Success
TCU got back to its winning ways during the month of February defeating Air Force in its last home outing, 61-31. The Horned Frogs should be in great shape if recent trends hold true this month as the Frogs have only lost seven times during the month since 2008-09, including only five times in the last three years. During the last three season's, TCU is 21-6 in the final month of the regular season. Since joining the Mountain West, the Frogs are 36-13 in the month of February.

Getting To Intermission On Top A Key
In 27 games, TCU has shown that if it can get to the halftime break with a lead or tied then ultimately the Horned Frogs will come away with a victory, going 10-2 this season when leading or tied at the break. The only losses came at the hands of Hartford and Wyoming when the Purple and White led by three and one at the break. When TCU hasn't led at intermission, the Frogs are 4-11 overall, with its only victories coming after trailing by eight to Sam Houston State, by four to Boise State, at Air Force by one and against SDSU by two.

Follow The Frogs
Fans not able to attend the New Mexico game can follow the game live via Gametracker and radio. To access any of the above, go to the women's basketball schedule page and click on the respective links located on the right-hand side of the page.

Saturday Night's All Right
The Frogs have gone 7-2 this season on Saturday's and have now recorded a total of 22 victories in 32 games during the last three years. The Horned Frogs all-time best mark on Saturday's since joining the Mountain West is 9-3 all-time in 2009-10.

First Time Around
TCU continued its winning ways earlier this year by downing New Mexico at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, 63-56. For a majority of the day, the Frogs used a balanced scoring attack, which helped them shoot 50 percent from the field for the game, including a season-high 58.3 percent in the first half. In all, freshman Ashley Colbert carried the way for the Frogs, scoring 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field.

Last Time Out
TCU's smothering defense blanketed Air Force Wednesday night as the Horned Frogs held the Falcons to a season-low 17.3 percent from the field en route to a comfortable 61-31 victory at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. 

On a dominating night, the Frogs simply attacked Air Force on the defensive end of the court as the Falcons shot 9-of-52 from the field for 17.3 percent, which is the third lowest field goal percentage by an opponent in school history and the lowest of any Mountain West school this season. It was also the lowest percentage since UTSA shot 13.3 percent from the field earlier this year.

The young and pesky Frogs got out of the gates quickly Wednesday and never looked back as they held Air Force, who went scoreless from the field for almost nine minutes of play in the first half Wednesday, to only 11.5 percent from the floor in the opening frame on 3-of-26 shooting from the field. In all, the Falcons' 13 first half points were tied for the 10th lowest in school history.

Natalie Ventress led the Frogs with a game-high 17 points, while sophomore Meagan Henson had a career-night with a new career-high of 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field, including 2-of-3 from three-point land.

Up Next
TCU will play its final regular-season game against Wyoming next Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. CT. 



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