Balanced Effort Leads TCU Past FGCU, 68-47
Nov. 26, 2013
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico - Natalie Ventress and Chelsea Prince scored in double figures as the TCU women's basketball team opened the Hardwood Tournament of Hope with a 68-47 victory over Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday evening at the Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center.
The Horned Frogs improved to 4-1 overall this season, while the Eagles dropped to 3-2 on the year.
Ventress tallied a season-best 14 points and tied a career high with nine rebounds while going 4-of-7 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line in 29 minutes of action.
Prince also emerged from the bench to chip in a season-high 12 points off a 5-of-8 effort from the field to go with two assists and a block in 22 minutes.
After a back-and-forth start, Prince sparked a 15-5 run for the Horned Frogs to add some separation, knocking down a jumper and following with a pair of free throws to give TCU a 16-11 advantage at the 6:17 mark of the first half.
Junior guard Donielle Breaux answered a FGCU 3-pointer with one of her own as TCU led 21-14 with under four minutes remaining, and sophomore guard Veja Hamilton added a layup with 45 seconds left and followed with a jumper with six seconds remaining to send the Frogs to the locker room with a 27-16 advantage.
Breaux opened the second half with another triple before the Eagles answered with three buckets from distance in less than two minutes to trim the TCU advantage down to six points.
Prince grabbed an offensive rebound and converted the putback to give TCU a double-digit advantage again with 12:24 remaining, and the Frogs would stretch their lead to 47-31 off a layup from freshman center Klara Bradshaw and free throws from sophomore guard Zahna Medley.
The Eagles would have one more three-point outburst left, draining back-to-back trifectas to cut the once 18-point TCU lead down to 12 with just over four minutes remaining, but Ventress would respond by driving the lane for the bucket and Prince followed by finding an open Bradshaw for an old-fashioned 3-point play to halt the late rally.
Seven Horned Frogs scored at least six points en route to a 49-percent shooting effort (25-of-51) from the field, while going 14-of-17 (82 percent) from the charity stripe.
TCU continued its strong rebounding this season, doubling up the Eagles on the glass by a 44-22 margin, while the defense limited FGCU to just 30-percent (16-of-53) shooting from the field.
Hamilton enjoyed an all-around performance with eight points, eight rebounds and two assists, while Bradshaw and Medley each chipped in nine points.
Senior center Latricia Lovings posted seven points and nine boards in 33 minutes, while Breaux added six points and four assists.
The Frogs return to action against South Dakota State at 6:30 p.m., CST on Wednesday.