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TCU falls to Texas 61-56

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(TCU 360/Caroline Hardwick)

(TCU 360/Caroline Hardwick)

Despite three Frogs in double digits, Texas pulled out a 61-56 win over TCU Saturday afternoon.

After TCU started the second half on a 5-0 run, Texas responded with a 7-0 run of their own that concluded with a Chassidy Fussell 3-pointer followed by an Imani McGee-Stafford jumper to give the Longhorns a 33-28 lead.

After scoring nine points each in the first half, TCU guards Zahna Medley and Kamy Cole were held to just three combined points in the second half.

"The focus of our halftime talk was that I didn't think Medley and Cole could beat us by themselves and let's keep doing a good job on the other players," Longhorn head coach Karen Aston said.

Texas broke the game open with a 12-0 run spurred from the defensive presence of Stafford-McGee who recorded seven blocks in the contest. Lithuania-native Gigi Mazionyte made a couple of 3-pointers to give Texas a 53-43 lead with seven minutes remaining.

Cole ended the Texas run with her only 3-pointer of the second half at the five minute mark and sparked a responsive 8-0 TCU run.

TCU forward Latricia Lovings made her first basket of the game at the 2:45 mark to pull TCU to within five points. Natalie Ventress, who scored all 16 of her points in the second half, came around a screen and sank a jumper from the top of the arc to make the score 53-51 Texas.

Inside the final 30 seconds, TCU had a chance to take the lead. Cole drove into the key and tried to slip Lovings a pass, but the ball skipped out of bounds.

In the following timeout, Mittie said, he wanted to get an early layup with his side down 59-56. Medley attempted to shoot a three with nine seconds remaining, but it was blocked by Longhorns guard Empress Davenport.

McGee-Stafford knocked down another pair of free throws and iced the game. McGee-Stafford, the sister of Denver Nuggets center Javale McGee, finished the game with 23 points, 13 rebounds, seven blocks, two assists and a steal.

For the second consecutive game, her and fellow forward Nneka Enemkpali (16 points and 13 rebounds) finished with double-doubles.

After the game, TCU head coach Jeff Mittie said that these types of losses hurt more.

"And it should hurt," Mittie said. "We'll get over the hump. This team will be just fine, the future will be just fine, but right now, it's just hard.

"We had a chance at the end and we couldn't make one or two more plays."

The two sides will meet again in Austin on Feb. 26. TCU's next game is a Tuesday road contest at Oklahoma State.

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