Weatherford Democrat

February 22, 2013

TCU (women) Ready For West Virginia Saturday


Weatherford Democrat

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TCU (women) Ready For West Virginia Saturday

Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. CT in Fort Worth.

FORT WORTH, Texas - Fresh off a 64-63 upset victory over No. 22 Oklahoma State, TCU will look to continue its winning ways in league play Saturday against West Virginia, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Saturday’s contest will mark the fourth meeting between the Frogs and Mountaineers in program history. In all, the two programs have never met in Fort Worth.

The Opponent

West Virginia, who is receiving votes in both national polls, brings a 15-10 overall record and 7-7 conference mark into Saturday’s showdown after defeating No. 23 Iowa State in Ames, 68-66. Against the Cyclones, WVU trailed 27-22 at intermission, but shot a blistering 68 percent from the field in the closing half to capture their seventh conference victory. Individually, Bria Holmes led the Mountaineers, who lead the conference in steals and offensive rebounding in league play, with a team-high 18 points on 6-of-10 from the field, while Ayana Dunning chipped in with 13 points.

On the season, junior Chistal Caldwell has carried the load for West Virginia, averaging 13.3 points per game, while Dunning has added 10 points a contest and 6.3 rebounds per game. During league play, Caldwell has increased her scoring average to 14.6 points per game.

The Series

TCU and West Virginia will meet for only the fourth time in program history Saturday. Prior to last months 58-50 setback in Morgantown, the Horned Frogs last played the Mountaineers in 2010 at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands. In 2010, No. 21 TCU dropped a physical back-and-fourth 62-49 contest to No. 10 West Virginia. In the only other meeting, the Frogs fell 73-61 in 1989 at the Lady Deacon Classic in North Carolina.

Another Ranked Team Goes Down

TCU defeated No. 22/23 Oklahoma State Wednesday night, 64-63. With the victory, the Frogs have now defeated at least one ranked team in 10 out of the last 11 seasons. TCU also now owns 18 victories all-time against ranked opponents, each of which has come in Jeff Mittie’s tenure.

Following Up Success

In the 17 previous victories against nationally ranked opponents, the Frogs have fared well in the game directly following the nationally ranked contest by going 12-5 all-time under head coach Jeff Mittie. The only losses during that stretch came to No. 6 Louisiana Tech (2001), No. 14 Houston (2004), No. 9 Rutgers (2006). Houston (2007) and No. 24 Oklahoma State (2008).

The Last Time

In a physical game back and fourth game, TCU forced West Virginia into 24 turnovers in January, but couldn’t make enough plays down the stretch, dropping a close 58-50 decision to the Mountaineers at WVU Coliseum. The Horned Frogs, who battled West Virginia all night, overcame a fast start by the Mountaineers and went to intermission tied at 27-27. TCU trailed by only two with 2:24 remaining in the game, but couldn’t get over the hump in the end.

On the night, junior Latricia Lovings dominated down low, blocking five shots, while also grabbing 13 rebounds, including eight on the defensive end of the court.

Medley Honored Once Again

TCU freshman Zahna Medley earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Freshman of the Week accolades Monday afternoon, marking the fourth time this season she has picked up the weekly honor. Medley averaged 21.0 points per contest, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in games against Kansas and Baylor last week.

The Final Stretch

With only four games remaining before conference tournament action begins next month in Dallas, TCU will look to better its league record, beginning tonight against West Virginia. With Wednesday’s West Virginia game, the Frogs will close the season with three of their final five games at home. If recent success means anything, TCU should be in good shape as they close out the regular-season. Since 2007-08, the Purple and White are an impressive 20-6 during the last five regular-season games. In all, the Frogs have ended the season 4-1 overall four out of the five years, including the past two seasons.

Making A Case Nationally

Zahna Medley has arguably had one of the best freshman seasons in school history. Below is a look at what the Illinois native has accomplished so far this season NCAA wise.

Nationally: She currently is No. 8 among all freshmen in the NCAA this season in points per game (13.0). Medley also ranks fifth among all freshmen in assists per game (4.1) this season nationally.

Assists: Medley is the only freshmen in the entire country to record 13 or more assists in a single-game, having done so against Oklahoma in January.

A Career Game

Zahna Medley scored a career-high 35 points against Kansas. Her 35 points were not only the fifth-best mark in program history, but also the highest-point total since former Frog great Emily Carter dropped 43 points against SMU in 2010.  Her 35 points were the most in a single-game by a TCU freshman since Tricia Payne connected for 36 points against Lamar in 1998. Overall, Medley is the only newcomer in the entire conference to score 35 or more points. Only two other freshmen in the entire country have scored more than Medley’s 35 points in a single-game. Jillian Alleyne (Oregon) and Emily Schill (San Jose St.) dropped 38 and 36 points earlier this year, respectively.

The Last Time Out

TCU had four players score in double-figures Wednesday night en route to a thrilling 64-63 upset victory over No. 22 Oklahoma State at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

With the win, the Horned Frogs, who ended the game on a 13-3 run, improved to 8-17 overall and 1-13 in league play, while the nationally ranked Cowgirls dropped to 18-7 overall and 7-7 in conference action. In all, the Frogs have now defeated at least one ranked team in 10 out of the last 11 seasons. TCU also now owns 18 victories all-time against ranked opponents, each of which has come in Jeff Mittie’s tenure.

Against Oklahoma State, the Purple and White have now also claimed the last two meetings in Fort Worth, which includes a 97-63 victory over then No. 20 OSU in 2007.

In a game that featured six ties and 10 lead changes, Oklahoma State, who had two turnovers and were 0 for 5 from the field in the final five minutes of the game, had one final chance to regain the lead with 9.9 seconds showing on the clock, but Kendra Suttles’ three-point attempt with 3 seconds left fell off the front rim and the Horned Frogs were able to record their first conference victory.

Gross led TCU on the night, tying a season-high with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field. The Waco native scored exactly 13 earlier this month against the Cowgirls as well. Donielle Breaux also had a solid night with 12 points on 4-of-5 from the floor. Not to be outdone, freshman Zahna Medley and sophomore Natalie Ventress chipped in with 11 and 10 points apiece, respectively.

Up Next

TCU will hit the road to take on Texas next Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. CT.