TCU Opens Conference Tournament With Wyoming Wednesday

March 5, 2012


TCU Horned Frogs (16-13, 9-5 Mountain West)
Head Coach: Jeff Mittie
Career Record: 427-198 (16-13 Season)
School Record: 276-139 (14th Season)

Wyoming (11-16, 7-7 Mountain West)
Head Coach: Joe Legerski
Wyoming Career Record: 171-106 (11-16 season)

Location: Las Vegas, Nev. • Arena: Thomas & Mack Center 
Rankings: TCU - NR/NR • Wyoming - NR/NR
Last Time Out: TCU defeated Wyoming, 58-48
Television: The Mtn.
Television Talent: Tracy Warren (Play-By-Play); Krista Blunk (Color)
Live Video: None  
Live Audio: 
Live Stats: (Gametracker)
Radio: KTCU (88.7 FM) Jeff Williams (Play-By-Play)
Twitter Updates:
Series Record vs. Wyoming:  TCU leads, 11-7
Last Meeting vs. Wyoming: Feb. 28, 2012 (W, 58-48)

FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU will open the 2012 Conoco Women’s Basketball Championship Wednesday when it takes on Wyoming. Tip-off is set for 4:35 p.m. CT and will mark the second-consecutive meeting between the two schools after the Frogs defeated the Cowgirls in their final regular season game, 58-48.

TCU, now winners of four-straight and the No. 4 seed, will be going for their fifth victory in six tries over Wyoming. Wednesday’s opening round game will be shown live on The Mtn., with Tracy Warren (Play-By-Play) and Krista Blunk (Color) calling the action live from the Thomas & Mack Center.

The Opponent
Wyoming, the No. 5 seed, comes into Wednesday’s contest with a 11-16 overall record and a 7-7 mark in the Mountain West after falling to the Frogs in its last outing, 58-48. Against the Purple and White, junior Chaundra Sewell led the Cowgirls with a 15-point, seven rebound outing. No other Wyoming players scored in double-figures at the DMC. Sewell has led the way for the Cowgirls this season, averaging 13.9 points per game, while Kayla Woodward is having a solid freshman campaign with 11.9 points per game and 5.5 boards.

The Series
TCU and Wyoming will be meeting for the 19th time in program history Wednesday. TCU currently leads the all-time series at 11-7 and have won four out of the last five. Overall, TCU, who has won six out of the last eight in the series, hasn’t played Wyoming in postseason since 2006.

Round Three Versus Wyoming
With its recent 58-48 victory over Wyoming to close out regular season play, TCU finished in third-place overall in the Mountain West, but lost the overall tie-breaker to Colorado State, thus receiving the No. 4 seed in this week’s tournament. In all, the Horned Frogs and Cowgirls split the season series with both teams winning by 10 at their respective venues. Below are some interesting notes from both regular season games. 

Season Series Notes
• Both teams scored 112 points combined between the two game regular season series.
• Both teams averaged 56.0 points per game between the two regular season games.
• Freshmen Natalie Ventress and Kayla Woodward are the top-two freshmen in the conference in scoring. 
• TCU has outscored the Cowgirls off the bench a combined, 44-9. 
• Wyoming shot a season-high 28 free throws on Feb. 1.
• TCU blocked six shots in both contests, respectively, while holding UW to under 38.5 percent shooting. 

Some Tidbits At The Conference Tournament
Out of the 12 active players on the TCU roster, only five (Thompson, Henson, Lovings, Gross and Wynn) have ever played in a Mountain West Tournament game. In 2005-06, the Horned Frogs first year in the Mountain West, TCU was the No. 4 seed and played Wyoming in the first round. The Purple and White will open their final Mountain West Tournament in the same fashion. By playing Wyoming two games in-a-row, it will mark the first  time in the MW that the Frogs have played the same team in their final regular season game and in the opening round of the tournament. 

Breaking Down The Conference Tournament All-Time
TCU, who is the fourth seed in the conference tournament for a third time since 2005-06, owns a 3-6 record in Mountain West Championship play all-time. The program has reached the semifinals four times and played in the championship game once, which happened last spring.

2005-06 (No. 4 seed): TCU won its first-round match-up with Wyoming (63-55) before falling in the quarterfinals to top-seeded BYU (53-63).

2006-07 (No. 4 seed): TCU was upset in the quarterfinals by No. 5 seed Utah, 68-67, on a running jumper in the lane by the Utes’ Kalee Whipple with only 1.7 seconds remaining. The Frogs trailed by as many as 11 points during the second half before staging a late rally.

2007-08 (No. 2 seed): TCU won its opening match-up versus No. 7 seed Air Force in the quarterfinals, 60-47, before dropping a tight semifinal contest to San Diego State, 67-69. 

2008-09 (No. 3 seed): TCU received a first-round bye before being upset by UNLV in the quarterfinals, 84-75. 

2009-10 (No. 1 seed): TCU fell in the semifinals to No. 4 Utah, falling 69-57.

2010-11 (No. 2 seed): TCU defeated New Mexico in the opening round by 21 before falling in overtime to Utah in the championship game, 52-47.

A Closer Look At The 2012 Series
Earlier this year, TCU saw its three-game winning streak come to an end with a 64-54 setback to Wyoming at the Cowgirls Arena Auditorium. Freshman Natalie Ventress led TCU with 18 points, while Whitney Williams was the only other Frog in double-figures with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting. In a game that saw eight lead changes, TCU, who outscored the Cowgirls off the bench 17-4, battled all night in front of a rowdy crowd of 3,293, pulling with seven late in the game, but the Frogs couldn’t quite get over the hump as Wyoming won for only the second time in five tries against the Purple and White.

In game No. 2, TCU controlled the tempo from the beginning of the contest to record a 58-48 victory over Wyoming at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. On the night, TCU shot 44.9 percent from the field, including 52.4 percent in the first half. The Frogs, who once again used their trademark defense to grind out a victory, stole the rock 10 times on the night, while holding the Cowgirls to only 33.3 percent from the field on 17-of-51 shooting. In all, TCU held Wyoming to only five made three’s on 20 attempts.

Out-Rebounding The Opponent Is Key
The Frogs, who have out-rebounded their opponent in four out of the last six games, are now 8-3 on the year when out-rebounding the opposition. Overall, the Horned Frogs are an impressive 173-36 (.827) during the Jeff Mittie era when out-rebounding an opponent, including 28-7 the last three season’s alone. 

Second Half Success
TCU has outscored its first half total for points 18 different times this season, including eight out of the last 12 games. The Frogs, who have won 11 games this season when doing so, have scored 159 more points in the second half of games this year entering Wednesday’s contest. 

Stepping Up Intensity
During the last 14 games, the Frogs, who have forced 206 turnovers in the last 11 games combined, have turned up their defensive pressure. During MWC play, opponents have shot 40 percent or lower in eight out of the 14 games, including seven out of the last 11. 

Even more impressive is the fact that during the Horned Frogs last 11 outings, TCU has shutdown teams from deep. The Frogs forced the 11 teams to go a combined 47-of-167 (.281) from behind the arc.

Ventress Continues To Produce
Natalie Ventress, who has scored 20+ points six out of the last 13 games, has led TCU in scoring 16 out of the last 20 games, including a 23-point showing against Boise State. So far this season, the freshman has led the Frogs in scoring 18 times becoming the first Horned Frog freshman to lead the Purple and White in scoring in 18 games since former Horned Frog and current professional Helena Sverrisdottir carried TCU in eight games during the 2007-08 season.

The Bench Play Is Key For Horned Frogs
In 14 of TCU’s 16 victories this season, the Frogs have outscored their opponent off the bench a combined, 410-182. Overall, TCU has outscored its opponent off the bench in every game except NC State (24-27), Georgia (6-29), Oklahoma (11-26), UTPA (26-10), SDSU (13-13), CSU (7-7) and Boise State (10-2).

Getting It Down Low Means Success
In 12 of TCU’s  16 victories this season, the Frogs have outscored their opponent in the paint, including against Wyoming, 28-22. When the Purple and White haven’t outscored the opposition down low, TCU is 3-10. The two games in which TCU has outscored its opponent, but lost is UTPA and Wyoming. The Frogs outscored the Broncs, 30-18 and totaled an 18-14 advantage against the Cowgirls.

NCAA Stats Update
As the Frogs entered this week’s games, TCU ranked in the top 50 in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (No. 18 - .346) and blocked shots per game (No. 8 - 6.0). Individually, sophomore Latricia Lovings currently sits No. 26 in the nation in blocks per game (2.3), while Natalie Ventress ranks No. 42 in free throw percentage (.840).

Follow The Frogs
Fans not able to attend the Wyoming 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.

Last Time Out
TCU kept to its winning ways with a 58-48 victory over Wyoming at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. On the night, TCU shot 44.9 percent from the field, including 52.4 percent in the first half. The Frogs, who once again used their trademark defense to grind out a victory, stole the rock 10 times on the night, while holding the Cowgirls to only 33.3 percent from the field on 17-of-51 shooting. In all, TCU held Wyoming to only five made three’s on 20 attempts.

For a majority of the night, the bench did most of the damage for the Frogs as TCU recorded a 27-5 advantage off the bench. In all, eight different Frogs scored as the Purple and White tallied 14 assists on a balance offensive attack. 

Natalie Ventress led TCU for the 18th time this season with a team-high 10 points. The freshman also recorded five boards, four assists and two steals to fill out her stat line.