Building off of a win against Texas Tech, the WVU women’s basketball team was able to secure their second-straight victory by defeating TCU on Saturday, 79-65.
Freshman guard Madisen Smith continued her success from her previous two games after a three-point knockdown from the freshman gave the Mountaineers (18-6, 9-4 Big 12) their first points of the day.
“I think just letting the game come to me and not forcing shots, driving, jump stopping, finding the open person and hitting open shots,” said Smith on her recent string of success.
Following the opening three pointer, the Horned Frogs (18-7, 8-6) fought back for the lone TCU lead of the afternoon following a layup, two-point jumper and free throw from senior center, Jordan Moore to make the game 5-3.
The West Virginia three-pointers didn’t stop there as senior guard Naomi Davenport and junior guard Tynice Martin each knocked down a pair of three pointers to give the Mountaineers the 22-12 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Following the second Martin three-pointer, all of the Mountaineer points had come beyond the arc through the opening seven minutes of action.
“Great effort, shot the ball extremely well the first half, I thought we settled for jump shots the second half and we should’ve attacked,” explained WVU head coach Mike Carey on his team’s first half shooting.
Following back and forth layups from West Virginia and TCU to begin the second quarter, Smith and Martin each nailed another set of three pointers to give the Mountaineers a 30-15 lead.
The Mountaineers then proceeded to go on an 8-4 run through the next three minutes of action behind a pair of layups and a pair of two-point knock downs from four separate players and to give West Virginia a comfortable 38-19 margin.
After Smith went down with what looked like a lower body injury, the freshman got back up and nailed the final basket before heading to the locker room to give West Virginia the 44-25 advantage.
West Virginia was able to sustain their 20 point plus margin through most of the third quarter behind a trio of two-point jumpers off the fingers of senior forward Theresa Ekhelar, Smith and Davenport in the first five minutes of the quarter which gave the Mountaineers a 50-28 margin lead.
Behind a few costly turnovers and fouls, the Horned Frogs were then able to go on a 15-10 run the rest of the quarter and take advantage of a few Mountaineer mistakes. The TCU hot streak was led by sophomore guard Lauren Heard’s four points through that stretch.
“In the second half, I thought we made some mistakes defensively but we kind of got rattled, I took a couple of timeouts, their press hurt us so we’ll work on that,” said Carey on his team’s second half performance.
The beginning of the fourth quarter saw TCU run away with a 9-0 hot streak run behind senior forward Amy Okonkwo’s layup and three-pointer to cut the margin to 60-54.
The Mountaineers stayed resilient through the remainder of the quarter while scratching and clawing at their single digit margin lead.
With a little over a minute remaining in the game and West Virginia ahead by nine points, Smith and junior guard Lucky Rudd each nailed a three pointer apiece to give the Mountaineers a 74-63 advantage.
Following a few Mountaineer free throws, West Virginia put the game away for sure with a final of 79-65.
Martin led West Virginia in scoring on the day with 21 points, followed by Smith’s 17 points, Davenport who totaled 15 points and Rudd who registered 13 points in the victory.
West Virginia will hit the road to take on Oklahoma State on Wednesday at 7 p.m.