Last-second shot drops Frogs, 49-48

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    Coming off a 63-52 loss to Oklahoma last Saturday night, the TCU women’s basketball team barely lost to No. 11 Oklahoma State at home.

    “That’s tough,” TCU head coach Jeff Mittie said. “It’s my responsibility to win that game as a coach.”

    Junior guard Natalie Ventress scored a team-high 12 points and sophomore guard Zahna Medley hit three three-pointers for TCU in the loss, but Medley missed a crucial free throw down the stretch.

    “It just sucks not to make the free throw,” Medley said with tears in her eyes after the game.

    The Frogs are now 10-2 this season when playing at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

    “We knew how good they’ve been here at home,” Oklahoma State head coach Jim Littell said. “We’re happy to get the win.

    Oklahoma State (18-2, 7-2 Big 12) brought the Big 12’s top scoring defense to the game, holding their opponents to an average of less than 55 points per game. They forced 18 turnovers over the course of the contest.

    “We’ve been near the top of the conference all year long in defense,” Littell said.

    Senior forward Latricia Lovings had eight points, 12 rebounds and four blocks on the night. The Fort Worth native currently has 74 blocks on the season and 272 in her career, the second-most in school history.

    The Frogs kicked off the game with a 7-3 run, capped by a fastbreak layup from Lovings.

    TCU led 17-9 with 11:47 left in the first half after junior forward Chelsea Prince hit her second three-pointer of the night. Prince finished the night with 8 points.

    The Frogs would bring that lead up to as much as 13, riding a hot hand from behind the arc in which the team made six first half three-pointers, the most in one half at home since the season opener.

    The Cowgirls, on the other hand, missed 14 of their first 19 shots.

    “TCU does such a great job of defending,” Littell said.

    With 2:50 left in the first half, Oklahoma State completed a furious rally, cutting the TCU lead to only two on the heels of a 13-2 run led by guard Tiffany Bias.

    Bias scored 12 points for the Cowgirls in the first half and finished with 17 for the night. She also grabbed six rebounds, stole four balls and dished out five assists.   

    Medley and Ventress then hit consecutive three-pointers to bring the Frogs’ lead back up to eight.

    After another Bias three-pointer made it 32-27 with 41 seconds left in the first half, Medley hit two free throws to give the Frogs a seven-point lead.

    Oklahoma State guard Brittany Atkins then hit a jumper at the end of the half to make it 34-27 at halftime.

    The Lady Frogs outrebounded the Cowgirls 18-12 at halftime but got outrebounded 36-30 on the night.

    TCU opened the second half with a Ventress fastbreak layup before Oklahoma State scored four straight points to cut the lead to three.

    With 12:10 left in the contest, the Cowgirls tied the game at 38-38 after a layup from center Kendra Suttles.

    Oklahoma State would take their first lead of the night midway through the second half after guard Roshunda Johnson hit a three-pointer to put the Cowgirls up 41-40.

    The Frogs missed 18 of their 26 shots in the second half.

    Lovings would give TCU the lead back after scoring off an offensive rebound but Oklahoma State answered with another three-pointer.

    With only four minutes left in the game and the Cowgirls up by one, Bias hit her third three-pointer of the night to put Oklahoma State up by four.

    Medley then responded with a three-pointer of her own, her third of the night, cutting the Cowgirls’ lead to only one. Medley made three three-pointers in a game for the first time since Dec. 28’s contest against Prairie View A&M.

    Sophomore guard Veja Hamilton would score on the following possession and the Frogs led with about two minutes left in the game.

    With 18 seconds left in the game, Lovings registered her fourth block of the night and forced a jump ball, giving TCU possession.

    “I knew I had to get a stop,” Lovings said.

    Medley was fouled on the ensuing possession but missed her free throw opportunity.

    Johnson then hit a long jump shot to put Oklahoma State up 49-48 with 7.6 left in the game.

    With a chance to win the game, Medley tripped over an Oklahoma State player in the lane and turned the ball over, giving the Cowgirls the 49-48 comeback win.

    The Frogs fall to 12-8 overall and 3-5 in conference play. They’ll next face West Virginia at home on Saturday.