Horned Frogs Down New Mexico Saturday, 63-52

Feb. 25, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – TCU had three players score in double-figures Saturday as the Horned Frogs came alive down the stretch of the second half to capture a 63-52 victory over New Mexico at the historic Pit.

The Frogs, who trailed by as many as 10 in the second half, battled the Lobos all day with all-out hustle and determination before eventually going on a 15-4 run to put the game on ice and quiet the crowd of 7,333 strong in Albuquerque. With the victory, TCU won for only the third time ever at The Pit and has now won four-straight in the all-time series, including back-to-back in Albuquerque. 

The young and pesky Frogs, who out-rebounded the Lobos Saturday, simply found a way to win as several players made solid contributions late, which helped the Frogs record a 29-13 advantage in bench points Saturday. In all, TCU shot 43.5 percent from the field in the second half, while limiting UNM, who didn’t make a single three in the period on eight attempts, to under 34 percent during the period. 

Natalie Ventress had another solid day as she scored a game-high 18 points and came up one-board shy of her first career double-double, tallying a team and career-high nine rebounds. The freshman also posted two blocks and one steal Saturday. For a second-straight game, Meagan Henson, who once again made big plays down the stretch for the Frogs, posted double-figures in scoring, chipping in with a new career-high 13 points, which included a 6-for-6 showing on free throws late. Antoinette Thompson rounded out the double-digit performers for the Purple and White Saturday, scoring 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field.

New Mexico received solid contributions from both Porche Torrance and Caroline Durbin as Torrance recorded 18 points on 7-of-9 from the field, while Durbin added 13. Torrance also tallied a game-high 10 boards Saturday.

With the win, TCU moved to 15-13 overall and 8-5 in the Mountain West, while New Mexico dropped to 9-18 and 3-10 in league play. 

Thompson would strip Durbin on the opening possession of the second half and the Frogs trailed by one at 28-27 early, but the Lobos would go on a 6-0 run before Briesha Wynn connected on a jumper at the 16:31 mark. On the next possession, Ventress tickled the twine from deep to make the score 34-32 and the Frogs appeared to be in business on a mini 5-0 run of their own. 

The Lobos would respond though as they went on an 8-2 run in the next couple of minutes to go up 42-34 at the 13:22 mark of the period. Delisa Gross put an end to the run as TCU rallied. In all, the junior scored on a run-out and Ventress dropped it in from deep to halt the Lobo run and pull within 44-39 at the 11-minute mark. 

Midway through the second period, Henson drove it down the lane and brought the Frogs within five at 46-41 with 8:29 left. Thompson would make the score 47-43 a few moments later on all-out pure hustle as the senior was at the right place at the right time for the put-back off a miss. 

With the score 47-45 in slight favor of the Lobos, the Frogs forced a shot clock violation. Ashley Colbert then blocked a UNM offensive player and found Henson running, who skipped it ahead to Ventress for a three at the 5:44 mark to give TCU a one-point advantage at 48-47.

A few moments later, Colbert connected on a bucket and the Frogs once again went up by two at the 4:49 mark. TCU would then force a Lobo turnover and the freshman would make one-of-two at the line to make the lead three.

With a little over three minutes remaining in the game, Colbert would give TCU a 52-48 lead and the Frogs would force a turnover. Wynn then powered home a layup following her own miss to give the Purple and White their biggest lead of the day up until that point at 54-48. 

The Frogs were able to make some key free throws down the stretch to bring the final score to 63-52.

Ventress opened the game giving the Frogs a 3-2 lead early, nailing a triple from the corner, but New Mexico would rattle off five-straight before Briesha Wynn split her defender and scored on a running layup to pull TCU within two at the 16:04 mark of the first half. 

Thompson would jump start the Frogs a few moments later, scoring on a tough three-point play to make the score 9-8 in slight favor of UNM. Following a running floater by Henson with a little over 12 minutes remaining in the opening frame, the Lobos would continue their hot shooting, nailing a trey to push their lead to 17-10 at the 11:46 mark. Henson would drop in a triple of her own and the Frogs appeared to be in business, now down only four at 17-13.

With New Mexico up 21-13, the Frogs would go on a 7-0 run as Thompson drilled a triple and then found a running Ventress on the very next play, who connected on a fast break to pull the Purple and White within 21-18 with a little over seven minutes remaining. A few moments later, the Frogs picked up their defensive pressure as Whitney Williams stole the rock and drove down the lane and found Gross who promptly pushed it through to make the scoreboard read 21-20. 

After a deep triple by Williams, the Frogs forced UNM into a bad shot and TCU was only down now 25-23 with a few minutes remaining before intermission. The Frogs would tie the game at 25-25 on a couple of free throws, but the Lobos scored the last three points of the half to take a 28-25 lead into the break. 

TCU will play its final regular-season game against Wyoming next Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. CT and will be shown live on The Mtn.