TCU women’s basketball finds its stride in exhibition opener

Posted Monday, Nov. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The TCU women’s basketball team rolled with the flow Monday, taking a solid 76-45 win over Southern Arkansas in its lone exhibition game before the beginning of the 2013-14 regular season.

Southern Arkansas threw a 2-3 zone at the Horned Frogs for the majority of the game, which is something TCU had little practice running an offense against before Monday, senior center Latricia Lovings said.

The defense was a slight speed bump to the Horned Frogs, who trailed Southern Arkansas 15-13 with 7:33 left in the first half, but when the shooting touch of sophomore guard Zahna Medley overcame the nerves of being back under the lights of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum for the first time this year, TCU found its traction.

TCU’s newfound size down low with freshman additions of 6-foot-6 Klara Bradshaw, making her first (unofficial) collegiate start Monday, and 6-foot-2 Carol Willie also aided Medley in finding much easier open shots than last season.

“[The defense starts] double-teaming [the centers], and when they get the ball, they know how to reverse it and get the ball out, so there is a lot more open shots than before,” Medley said.

The Horned Frogs ended the first half with a 15-3 run thanks in part to 3-pointers by junior guard Natalie Ventress and Medley.

TCU went to the locker room at halftime with a 36-26 lead and continued its scoring run into the beginning of the second half, outscoring Southern Arkansas 14-2 up to the 12:29 media timeout to put the game out of reach.

Medley led all scorers with 23 points, 12 off 3-pointers and nine from the free throw line, the latter of which impressed coach Jeff Mittie the most.

“Coming off of last year, we feel like she’s an improved player,” Mittie said. “She’s to the point where when she has an off night, she still knows how to find some points.”

Lovings had 14 points on an improved offensive post game thanks to summer workouts and preseason practices with Bradshaw.

“I worked really hard over the summer because I knew last year I wasn’t very strong in the post on offense,” Lovings said. “… Coming into this year, my senior year, I had to better my offensive game so my defensive game could be better.”

Mittie said the win wasn’t pretty, but it was just what the Horned Frogs needed heading into the regular season opener at home Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe.

TCU freshman point guard A.J. Alix did not suit out for Monday’s exhibition game as she is still waiting for clearance from the NCAA, Mittie said. TCU should know something on her status within the next few days, he said.

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