The TCU women’s basketball team (1-0) used a barrage of three point sharp shooting to bury the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 86-47 in the Frogs’ season opener Saturday night.
The Horned Frogs took control of the game early in the first half in large part because of the play of sophomore point guard Zahna Medley. Medley scored 15 of her 24 points before the break.
TCU led 47-28 at halftime.
Medley, a member of last season’s Big 12 All-freshman team, also led the Frogs with 10 assists and five steals, recording her third career double-double.
“Coming from my freshman season I knew I had to get better and improve,” Medley said.
Medley said that she her primary focus during the offseason was on making open shots.
TCU shot 9-of-19 from behind the three-point arc as a team. Medley buried five of her six attempts.
TCU head coach Jeff Mittie said that his team started slow but went on a run after the first media timeout.
“I thought the zone, early, was average,” Mittie said. “Maybe about that first media mark we started getting more tips, deflections, and took better angles.”
Mittie said the improved defense sparked the team’s offense by providing easy fast-break looks.
“Tonight I thought we did some good things in transition,” Mittie said. “I think for us to score the ball better at a higher rate—we didn’t shoot over 50% all last year, we shot over 50% today—a lot of that is because of our transition.”
Mittie said that the team’s goal for its offense is to average a point per possession.
“We left some points on the table from the free-throw line tonight,” Mittie said. “There were some missed opportunities there but all-in-all it was a pretty solid offensive performance.
TCU shot 19-of-29 from the free-throw line.
Along with Medley, three other players scored in double figures for TCU. Natalie Ventress scored 12 points and Lovings and Donielle Breaux each added 11 points.
TCU shot 29-56 (51.8%) from the field while ULM shot 18-54 (33.3%).
Offensively, the Warhawks struggled against the Horned Frogs’ zone and the length of senior TCU forward Latricia Lovings and freshman center Klara Bradshaw. Lovings and Bradshaw combined for nine rebounds and five blocks and altered a number of other ULM field goal attempts as well.
Lovings, who moved in the offseason from the center spot to the power forward with the arrival of the 6-foot-6 Bradshaw, said that she is enjoying her new role.
“It was kind of weird at first; working with someone bigger than me,” Lovings said of playing with the freshman center. “It takes a lot of pressure off me from last season when I had to get every rebound.
“I love playing with her, she’s a great player and is working hard every day.”
Lovings said her position change was difficult at first but she is improving quickly.
“At first it was hard, I was a little uncomfortable but we’ve worked on it every day in practice,” Lovings said. “I still have a lot to work on in practice but I’m getting better and better and I’m very comfortable there.”
ULM committed 25 turnovers on the night and recorded only 12 assists. Eight different Horned Frogs recorded a steal as the team combined for 18 in total.
The Warhawks were held to 19 points in the second half.