WVU Women Get Big Lead, Hold On Vs. TCU
After leading by as many as 24 points in the second half, the West Virginia University women’s basketball team fought off a late comeback attempt to take down TCU, 79-65, on Saturday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.
Redshirt junior guard Tynice Martin scored a game-high 21 points, five rebounds and three steals to help WVU earn the victory, while freshman guard Madisen Smith added 17 points and eight assists.
Two more Mountaineers reached double-figures, as senior guard/forward Naomi Davenport finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three assists, while junior guard Lucky Rudd chipped in with 13 points, five rebounds and three steals.
WVU made 12 3-pointers as a team in the win.
“I thought (it was a) great effort,” coach Mike Carey said. “(We) shot the ball extremely well in the first half. I thought we settled for jump shots in the second half when we should have attacked. (Freshman forward) Kari (Niblack) did a great job for us. (She had) a lot of energy. She and (senior guard/forward) Naomi (Davenport) both rebounded the ball very well. Overall, we needed that win. We got it, but we need a lot more wins.”
Smith drained a 3-pointer to open the contest, one of five the Mountaineers (18-6, 9-4) would hit in the opening frame. Davenport and Martin also hit shots from beyond the arc in back-to-back possessions, giving WVU an early 9-7 lead.
Later, Martin sank another three at the 3:22 mark of the first period, before Davenport swished another trey to make it 15-10. WVU went 5-of-9 from behind the 3-point line and made all seven of its free throws to lead 22-12 after 10 minutes.
The hot start didn’t end there. Smith and Martin made two more triples to bump the Mountaineers’ lead to 30-15 by the 6:21 mark of the second period. That led to Davenport finding a wide-open Theresa Ekhelar on the low block for an easy bucket under the hoop with 5:57 to play before the half.
After a pair of Davenport buckets, Martin sank her fourth 3-pointer of the half with 1:20 to play, making it 42-25. West Virginia went on to outscore TCU, 22-13, in the frame and took a 44-25 advantage into the locker room.
Davenport (12), Martin (12) and Smith (10) all reached double-figures in the first half.
Ekhelar and Smith started the second half with baskets for WVU, before Martin hit two more 3s and the 4:44 and 3:18 marks. From there, though, the Horned Frogs found their first spark of the afternoon, converting on an 11-0 run at one point to get within 13 of the lead.
WVU turned the ball over 11 times in the third quarter but still took a 60-45 lead into the final frame.
TCU (18-7, 8-6) executed a 9-0 run to begin the fourth, cutting its deficit to 60-52 with 8:19 to play. Then, Rudd got a tough basket to go to halt the momentum.
After the Horned Frogs got within six of the lead, Niblack scored on a layup before gathering a steal on the defensive end moments later. That led to a 3-pointer by Smith to bump the WVU lead to 71-60 with 1:59 to play.
Then, Rudd closed the game in style. First, she swished a 3 with 1:16 to go before converting on a three-point play with 41 seconds to go. The Mountaineer scored 13 of the game’s final 18 points to finish off the home victory.
TCU was led by Jordan Moore’s 17 points.
WVU returns to the road to take on Oklahoma State on Wednesday.
Notes: West Virginia improved to 14-3 all-time against TCU … redshirt junior guard Tynice Martin finished 6-of-10 from beyond the arc, tying a career high … Martin finished with 21 points, her 25th career 20-point performance … senior guard/forward Naomi Davenport finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, her 11th career double-double and sixth of the season … Davenport also reached double-figures in scoring for the 10th consecutive game … freshman guard Madisen Smith tallied a career-high eight assists in the win.