Second Half Propels TCU To Comfortable 66-44 Victory
TCU went on a 27-4 run in the second half to put the game on ice.
Jan. 25, 2012
USAFA, Colo. - TCU used a 27-4 run early on in the second half Wednesday to erase a one-point halftime deficit and crush Air Force at Clune Arena, 66-44.
In all, the Horned Frogs' stingy defense forced a season-high 29 turnovers, including 15 in the second half. By forcing Air Force into 29 turnovers, it marked the most since TCU engaged Colorado State into 31 last January. For a majority of the night, the Frogs used those turnovers to produce on the offensive end, recording a 30-17 advantage in points off turnovers.
In the second frame alone, TCU, who trailed at the half by a score of 25-24, held the Falcons to only 19 second half points on 6-of-23 shooting from the field. In all, Air Force, who only made one three-pointer the entire night, faced heavy pressure the entire second half.
With the win, the Purple and White, now winners of two-straight, moved to 10-10 overall and 3-2 in the Mountain West, while Air Force dropped to 5-15 overall and 0-5 in league play.
With the help of a dominating second half, Natalie Ventress led the way with 21 points on 6-of-11 from the field, marking the third time in four games the freshman has scored 20+ points. Fellow freshman Ashley Colbert was the only other Frog in double-figures with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. Latricia Lovings combined with Colbert for a dynamic duo down low as Lovings had an all-around solid game with eight points, nine boards and two blocks. Lovings tied a career-high with nine boards and also overtook Kati Safaritova for No. 3 all-time in career blocked shots.
Overall, the tandem of Colbert and Lovings down low was too much for an oversized Air Force squad as the two helped TCU outscore Air Force in the paint, 36-24. On a night where the Horned Frogs bench recorded a 30-10 advantage, every player saw action Wednesday night at Clune Arena.
Just like the first half, defense was the name of the game for the Purple and White early on in the second, helping TCU move back on top, 28-25, when Briesha Wynn stole the ball and went coast to coast. The Frogs would continue to pressure the Falcons, forcing three-straight turnovers, which helped TCU jump out to a 51-29 advantage early in the second frame off a 27-4 run.
Two-straight treys by Ventress and Thompson on consecutive trips down the court put the Frogs in control at the 13:19 mark of the second half. Overall, TCU was in business on both ends of the court during the stretch, holding Air Force without a bucket for over 4 minutes of play, while forcing several turnovers.
All-out hustle helped TCU with a little over 11 minutes to go in the second period as the Frogs had three-straight offensive boards until Ventress powered home a layup with 11:42 left on the clock. The freshman would continue her hot shooting, stroking a trey from the left side of the floor on the very next possession to continue TCU's solid play.
By the time Wynn found the bottom of the net on two-straight possessions midway through the second half, TCU was able to put it on cruise control the rest of the way, winning comfortably, 66-44, Wednesday night.
The Frogs opened the game sizzling on the defensive end of the court, holding Air Force without a bucket from the floor for almost six minutes of action. In all, the Falcons, who went 0-for-8 to open the game, didn't light up the scoreboard from the field until the 14:54 mark of the opening frame. Sophomore Meagan Henson got the Frogs rolling early in the contest, scoring on a floater inside the lane to tie the game at 2-2.
With the Falcons up 8-4, Whitney Williams found Chelsea Prince in the lane who proceeded to scoop the ball over the top of the rim to pull the Frogs within two at the 13:08 mark. A few moments later, Colbert powered home a contested layup to bring TCU within three at the halfway point of the opening frame. The freshman would score a couple of trips later, this time on a pullback jumper from the corner to make the score 13-10 with a little over 8 minutes remaining in the first half.
Ventress then caught fire, scoring six of TCU's next eight points. The freshman tied the game at 13-13 at the 7:52 mark of the first half when she scored on a runner. On the vey next play, Prince stole the rock and found Ventress on a run-out who flipped it over her head and connected on an old fashioned three-point play to give TCU its first lead in the game at 16-13 at the 7:29 mark of the opening frame.
Air Force would regain the lead, but Lovings scored a bucket as time expired in the first half to bring the halftime score to 25-24 in favor of the Falcons.
TCU will return home for a Noon contest against New Mexico on Saturday.