Although the women’s basketball team is comprised of only one senior, the Lady Frogs did not play like a young team would be expected to against Cameron University, blowing out the Aggies 80-52 Tuesday night at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
The Lady Frogs came out with intensity and hustle, pressuring on defense and moving the ball patiently on offense. Freshman Natalie Ventress put up the first two points for the Frogs, beginning a good night for the freshman. Antionette Thompson and Delisa Gross also made big 3-pointers for the Frogs within the first few minutes.
Cameron also moved the ball efficiently but committed at least four offensive fouls against the Frogs in the first half. The Aggies stayed primarily around the perimeter in the first half, which proved to be beneficial especially after a big three-pointer from senior forward Sabelle Diata.
The Frogs reciprocated the outside shots with big three-pointers from Whitney Williams and freshman Chelsea Prince, and the Frogs led the Aggies 22-18 with just under eight minutes left in the half.
Nearing the end of the first half, both teams were hustling and playing physically. A big steal by Thompson led to an easy layup, and a 3-pointer from Williams escalated the adrenaline of the Frogs and was only topped by an outstanding four-point play by Gross from the corner.
The Frogs led the Aggies 43-32 at the half.
After a big three-pointer from Cameron forward Julie Paunovic to start the second half, head coach Jeff Mittie immediately called a timeout. And whatever he said to the Lady Frogs worked.
Within minutes, Gross, Williams and Ventress put up big three’s for the Frogs, and the team continued to get rebounds and make smart passes. Within one play, Prince and Williams both made big steals, which resulted in Ventress hitting a big 3-pointer.
The hype was short-lived. By the halfway mark, the dynamic got sloppy on both sides of the court. Both teams committed turnovers and were having trouble finishing easy shots.
TCU continued to lead 71-52 with under four minutes in the game.
The last few minutes of the ballgame belonged to 5-foot sophomore Meagan Henson, with two assists, two steals and six points within minutes.
Junior Gross, who led the team with 17 points, believes that hard work and resilience is going to lead to success for a team with many underclassmen.
“We have to play hard the whole game. We can’t slack on anyone,” Gross said. “Throughout the season, we’re going to grow as a team. We have a young team. So, just working together and growing as a team is going to be our main goal.”
Mittie said he was happy with what he saw and believed that his team worked hard to overcome the obstacles that many new, young teams face.
“Patience is going to be a big word. Seven out of the ten haven’t played. Even Williams hasn’t played in a game in over a year,” Mittie said. “You look out on the floor, and you’ve got four out of five on the floor a good portion of the game that are freshmen.
“I thought their effort was great tonight, and I thought they tried, and they did what we were asking them. We’ll take a good look at the film and see if we can make some corrections, but I liked what I saw.”