TCU Lights Up Air Force Wednesday Night, 61-31
Feb. 22, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU's smothering defense blanketed Air Force Wednesday night as the Horned Frogs held the Falcons to a season-low 17.3 percent from the field en route to a comfortable 61-31 victory at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
On a dominating night, the Frogs simply attacked Air Force on the defensive end of the court as the Falcons shot 9-of-52 from the field for 17.3 percent, which is the third lowest field goal percentage by an opponent in school history and the lowest of any Mountain West school this season. It was also the lowest percentage since UTSA shot 13.3 percent from the field earlier this year.
The young and pesky Frogs got out of the gates quickly Wednesday and never looked back as they held Air Force, who went scoreless from the field for almost nine minutes of play in the first half Wednesday, to only 11.5 percent from the floor in the opening frame on 3-of-26 shooting from the field. In all, the Falcons' 13 first half points were tied for the 10th lowest in school history.
With the win, TCU improved to 14-13 overall and 7-5 in the Mountain West, while Air Force dropped to 5-22 and 0-12 in league play.
Natalie Ventress led the Frogs with a game-high 17 points, while sophomore Meagan Henson had a career-night with a new career-high of 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field, including 2-of-3 from three-point land. Defensively, sophomore Latricia Lovings had a solid night with a career-high 11 rebounds and three blocks, while Ventress and crew harassed Air Force's leading scorer coming into the game Alicia Leipprandt into a 1-of-16 showing for a total of two points. Leipprandt came into the game averaging 13.3 points per contest.
In all, the Frogs held Air Force without a player in double-figures as Dymond James, who averaged double-figures coming into the night, scored a team-high six points on only 1-of-12 from the floor.
On the night, TCU, who went on a 22-2 run to break the game wide-open, outscored the Falcons in the paint, 26-6, while forcing Air Force into 23 turnovers. The Frogs, who out-rebounded the Falcons, also tallied a 31-15 advantage in bench points Wednesday.
The Frogs got right to work in the second half as Chelsea Prince scored on a reverse layup early on in the period to push the Purple and White lead to 25. In all, Air Force didn't get its 15th point of the game until the 16:57 mark of the second half. Henson pushed the score to 40-15 a few moments later, dropping a tear dropper in on a running floater to amass double-digits in points for the first time in her young career.
Midway through the second half, Delisa Gross found a cutting Ventress who beat her defender and softly laid it in at the 14:48 mark. The freshman sensation would tickle the twine from deep the next trip down the court and the route continued as the Frogs were now up 45-15 with a little over 13 minutes remaining in the game.
Overall, Air Force didn't even hit the 20-point mark until 9:52 left to go in the game. Logan Mittie continued the Horned Frogs dominating fashion a few minutes later, dropping two-straight treys, which made the score 53-25 with a little over five minutes to go in the contest.
The Frogs would score eight more after that to put the finishing touches on an impressive night at the DMC.
TCU jumped out to a 10-4 lead early in the game after Briesha Wynn dropped in a jumper from inside the lane off an assist by Whitney Williams. Air Force rattled off four-straight before Henson drilled a deep trey to give TCU a 13-8 lead at the 8:36 mark of the first half. The sophomore would drop it in from deep again a few moments later to push the Frogs up by eight.
Following an offensive board, Lovings gave to TCU a 10-point lead with 6 minutes, 53 seconds to go in the half and Antoinette Thompson continued the hot shooting for the Purple and White on the next trip down the court, nailing a three.
By the time Ventress scored on a tough three-point play, the Frogs were comfortably ahead at 24-8 with 4:40 left to go in the half. Williams then got into the act, knifing through the Air Force defense for a nifty reverse layup down the stretch to make the score 26-10 in huge favor of the Frogs.
Ventress would tickle the twine from deep with a little over two minutes remaining in the opening frame and score two more at the free throw line to bring the score to 32-10. A couple of buckets down the stretch brought the halftime score to 36-13 in favor of the Horned Frogs.
TCU will return to action Saturday afternoon at New Mexico. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. CT.