Freshmen Lead TCU To 73-69 Victory Saturday Against Boise State

Feb. 18, 2012

Final Stats

FORT WORTH, Texas – TCU had four players score in double-figures Saturday,including three freshmen, as the Frogs exploded in the second half late to down Boise State at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, 73-69.

After trailing at the break 28-24, the Horned Frogs, now 13-13 overall and 6-5 in the Mountain West, simply caught fire in the second half as freshman Natalie Ventress led a TCU attack late firing on all cylinders. When it was all said and done, the Purple and White went on an 18-5 run to pull ahead by 12 with a minute left. The Frogs, who shot 51.9 percent in the second half and 45.3 overall in the game, forced Boise State, who is now 13-13 overall and 4-7 in league play, into 25 turnovers as TCU stole the rock 13 times in the contest. The Purple and White also secured points in the paint Saturday, holding a 36-28 advantage, while totaling 28 points off of turnovers. 

For a second-straight game, Ventress, a Fort Worth native, scored 20 points after intermission. This time she netted 21 in the second half, which follows a 20-point outburst against UNLV earlier this week. In all, Ventress, who simply could not miss in the second half from long distance going 4-of-6 from three, scored a total of 23 points, which marks her third-straight game and sixth overall with 20 or more points.

Fellow freshman Chelsea Prince and sophomore Latricia Lovings each totaled 14 points apiece, respectively, while Ashley Colbert chipped in with 13 points and a career-high five blocks.  It was a career day for Lovings as she posted a new career-high in points with 14 on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, while also tying her career-high with nine boards.

In all, the freshmen trio of Ventress, Prince and Colbert rattled off 50 of the Horned Frogs 73 points, which marks the first time under head coach Jeff Mittie that three freshmen have combined for that many points in a single-game.

Lauren Lenhardt led the Broncos with 23 points, while Kati Isham chipped in with 16 points.

Prince gave TCU momentum on the opening possession of the second half, scoring on a running layup to make the score 29-26, but Boise State answered right back with a trey.  A few moments later, Ventress and Prince stole the ball on consecutive trips down the court and Ventress, who would score five-straight during the stretch, proceeded to drop it in from deep to bring TCU within one at 32-31 with a little over 17 minutes remaining in the game.

After a Boise State layup, Ventress continued to produce on the offensive end as she scored on back-to-back free throws to once again pull the Frogs closer at 34-33, but just as they did all night, the Broncos answered with another trey to halt the Ventress led offensive attack. In all, the freshman scored seven out of the Frogs nine points to make the score 37-35 at the 15:46 mark of the second half. 

Lovings tied the game at 37-37 halfway through on another basket off an offensive board, while Ventress went coast-to-coast after a steal to make the score 39-39. Colbert gave TCU a 41-39 lead a few moments later, but it was short lived as Boise State connected on a floater on the other end to tie the game at 41-41 with a little over 12 minutes remaining in the contest.

Two-straight blocks by Colbert seemed to ignite the crowd of 3,075 strong and the Frogs once again forced a turnover, which led to points on the offensive end and made the score 44-41 halfway through the second frame of play. Ventress then tickled the twine from deep a few moments later to light up the scoreboard in favor of TCU at 47-42 with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the period.

With the Frogs clinging to a 52-47 lead at the 8:40 mark, Boise State scored five-straight, all of which were by Isham, to tie the game back up at 52-52. The Broncos would proceed to take a two-point lead, but Ventress continued her hot shooting, dialing it up from deep at the 6:42 mark to regain the Frog lead.

In a game that featured six ties and nine lead changes, the two teams would battle back-and-fourth as the Frogs worked it down low on consecutive possessions to take a 59-56 lead down the stretch. Boise State answered with another three though to tie the game at 59-59 as Saturday’s contest came down to the wire.

Ventress would drill another triple with a little over 2 minutes remaining in the game, while Briesha Wynn drove the lane to make the score 64-59.  By the time, Prince scored on a scoop shot after contact, TCU was up 67-59 following an offensive explosion.

The Frogs would all but put the game out of reach at about the 1-minute mark, going on an 18-5 run to take their biggest lead of the day. A couple of late buckets by the Broncos brought the game back to single-digits, but TCU was able to run out the clock to sweep Boise State on the season. 

The Broncos jumped out to a 4-0 lead early, but Antoinette Thompson found Lovings down who scooped it in early to pull the Frogs within two. On the very next possession, Thompson drilled a trey and the Purple and White were in business, now up 5-4. The Frogs were in the midst of a 9-2 run before Lovings added another bucket to put TCU ahead 9-6 at the 15:41 mark.

Halfway through the opening frame, Meagan Henson drove the lane and kicked it to Colbert to end a 9-2 Bronco run at about the 10-minute mark of the first half. Boise State would increase the score to 18-13, but Prince beat the shot clock on a driving layup to pull the Purple and White within three at 18-15 at the 7:28 mark of the first half.

With the score 25-15 in favor of Boise State, Lovings continued to work down low as she scored from inside the paint to cut into the Bronco lead.  A few moments later, Prince grabbed an offensive rebound and powered home a layup to inch the Frogs closer at 25-19 with 2 minutes, 35 seconds remaining in the period.

Down the stretch, Thompson got a running layup to go and Lovings scored on the very next possession off the glass to pull TCU within two down the stretch at 26-24, but Boise State was able to connect on the other to end to bring the halftime score to 28-24 in slight favor of the Broncos.

TCU will return to the hardwood next Wednesday against Air Force. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. from the DMC.