The West Virginia University women’s basketball team has always found a way to win whenever facing the TCU Horned Frogs; the last and only time the Mountaineers lost to TCU was on Feb. 24, 2015. Exactly one year later, Bria Holmes was not going sit still and watch the same thing happen.
West Virginia went into the final quarter down by four once TCU started the quarter with a three. While there was still time left, it seemed as if the Horned Frogs offence was too much. However, led by Bria Holmes’ 11 points in the fourth quarter, the Mountaineers (21-8,10-6 Big 12) went on to defeat the Horned Frogs (15-12, 7-9 Big 12), 83-72.
Holmes recorded a season-high 30 points. The senior shot 50 percent from the field and added four assists to her total. Holmes is now 16 points away from becoming the first Mountaineer to reach 500 points in three consecutive seasons.
“She stepped up today, and took over the game, when we needed her the most,” said WVU head coach Mike Carey. “She made some big, big plays.”
The first quarter found both WVU and TCU exchanging offensive punches, making basket after basket. By the end of the first quarter, the Mountaineers were shooting 66.7 percent, while the Horned Frogs converted on 50 percent of its shots.
Coming out of the opening quarter, TCU’s leading scorer, Zahna Medley, recorded only 4 points. However, Medley went into halftime scoring 11 of TCU’s 21 points in the second quarter. The Mountaineers had no answer in stopping Medley, who scored 16 points last meeting. Medley finished with 23 points and seven assists.
It was only the beginning of what seemed to be a long night defensively for the Mountaineers. As the Horned Frogs continued their offensive success, the Mountaineers hit a scoreless patch at the worst time.
With the Mountaineers nearly tying the game back up at 49, the Horned Frogs went on a 16-2 run to hold a 9-point lead. However, as the Mountaineers faced the deficit with TCU shooting at an improbable rate, WVU responded with a run of its own, ending the third with 9-0 run.
TCU had eight turnovers entering the fourth quarter. The Horned Frogs protected the basketball and the Mountaineer defense needed a time to step up. The West Virginia defense forced six turnovers en route to a 21-3 run over six and half minutes.
“Once we started playing defense, you can see we held them to eight points,” Carey said. “I thought in the Texas game when we got behind like that, we didn’t play hard. This game we did.”
WVU’s Teana Muldrow added 20 points, falling 1 point shy of her season-high, also set against TCU. Jessica Morton was quiet on the offensive side, with no points entering the final quarter, but she ultimately finished with 8 points and five rebounds, playing a crucial role in the comeback.
Four of the five Horned Frogs’ starters finished in double-figure scoring. Along with Medley’s 23; Veja Hamilton finished with 13, AJ Alix with 12 and Jada Butts with 10.
The victory gives the Mountaineers their second highest conference win total since joining the Big 12. It also keeps the Mountaineers in an all-important battle with Oklahoma State, as both teams are tied for third in the conference.
West Virginia and Oklahoma State will meet on 7 p.m. Satrurday., in what will be the Mountaineers’ final regular season home game.