TCU Press Release
FORT WORTH, Texas – Natalie Ventress scored a game-high 21 points Saturday night, but TCU dropped a hard fought 66-56 decision to West Virginia at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
In a tight contest throughout the night, Ventress, who scored 15 of her 21 in the second half, went 5-of-11 from the field, while also grabbing nine boards. Freshman Kamy Cole was the only other Horned Frog in double-figures with 15 points. Defensively Saturday, junior Latricia Lovings tallied a game-high seven blocks, while the Purple and White forced 16 turnovers.
West Virginia, who is receiving votes in both national polls, was led on the night by guard Taylor Palmer. Palmer scored 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting from deep. Ayana Dunning also had a solid outing, recording 15 points and eight boards.
At the two-minute mark of the contest, senior Delisa Gross cut the Mountaineer lead to eight off a three, but the Frogs, who played relentless trapping defense down the stretch which forced several turnovers, weren’t able to complete the comeback and capture their second-straight conference victory.
With the loss, TCU fell to 8-18 overall and 1-14 in league play. The Mountaineers improved to 16-10 overall and 8-7 in conference action.
The Frogs tied the game at 28-28, right out of the gate as Ventress cleaned up a loose ball and found the bottom of the basket on the opening possession of the second half. On the very next trip down the court, Cole scooped it past a Mountaineer to tie the game at 30-30.
TCU continued its offensive production two minutes into the half as Ventress drove the lane and sunk a jumper to give the Frogs a 32-30 lead. The lead was short lived though as WVU came back and buried a triple before Ventress went 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to tie the game at 33-33.
Freshman Zahna Medley then tickled the twine from deep with a little over 15 minutes remaining in the second frame of play to give the Frogs a 36-33 lead, but Dunning knocked down a trey ball of her own to give WVU the go ahead at 38-36.
With the scoreboard knotted at 38-38 following a pair of free throws, West Virginia darted to a 52-38 lead midway through until Ventress was able to make a pair at the line with a little over six minutes to go in the game.
The Frogs relentless defensive pressure forced West Virginia into three-straight turnovers and the Purple and White started to chip away at the Mountaineer lead at 57-46. Gross made it a 57-49 game at the two-minute mark, electrifying the crowd with a three ball from the right side of the court, but the Frogs couldn’t get any closer down the stretch.
Medley put the Frogs on the board early, kissing the rock off the glass to tie the game at 2-2. West Virginia jumped on top 5-2, but Cole tickled the twine on the very next possession to tie the game at 5-5. The freshman continued her offensive production the next trip down the court, scoring on a running layup with 14:43 to go in the opening half, which brought the Frogs within one at 8-7.
West Virginia proceeded to go on a mini 6-0 run, but Gross would have nothing of it, scoring a tough three-point play with 12:02 showing on the scoreboard. The two teams continued to go back and fourth midway through the opening frame of play until the Mountaineers pushed their lead to 23-13 with a little over eight minutes left in the period.
Ventress ended the run, driving past her defender and powering home a layup. On the very next possession, the sophomore found Cole for a triple and the Frogs were off and running on a 9-0 run, which pulled the score to 23-22.
With WVU clinging to a one-point lead, Hamilton spun past her defender and connected on a runner off the glass to give TCU a 24-23 advantage at the 3:48 mark of the first half. In all, the Frogs went on an 11-0 run during the stretch, while not allowing the Mountaineers to score from the field for over six minutes of play.
West Virginia continued to battle though, climbing back on top at 28-26 at the break. TCU will return to action Tuesday at Texas. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. in Austin.
• TCU moved to 8-17 overall and 1-14 in conference action.
• WVU leads the all-time series, 4-0.
• TCU and West Virginia played for the first time in Fort Worth Saturday.
• TCU moved to 12-6 all-time under head coach Jeff Mittie following a victory over a ranked opponent.
• Natalie Ventress posted her third 20-point outing this month.
• Ventress recorded her fifth 20-point game of the season and 12th of her career.
• Ventress led TCU in scoring for the 11th time this season.
• Latricia Lovings’ seven blocks were the most since she recorded nine against Texas Tech in January.