TCU women pick up win from free throw line

11/16/2013 11:24 PM

11/12/2014 3:05 PM

The basket looked like a pinhole for the TCU women’s basketball team Saturday night. The Horned Frogs finished the game shooting 28.1 percent from the field, not far from the 10th-lowest percentage in school history, 24.1.

However, TCU did what was needed to beat Texas State 63-50 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

The path to point production came by way of the free throw line for the Horned Frogs, sinking 24 of their 30 attempts.

TCU sophomore guard Zahna Medley finished with a game-high 21 points, nine of which came from free throws.

TCU (2-1) shot a frosty 9.1 percent from the field halfway through the first half and trailed Texas State 14-8.

It was then the team made the concerted shift away from outside shooting, typically a staple of TCU’s offense, to slashing to the rim and drawing fouls.

“I thought we showed some maturity there when the ball wasn’t going in the rim, we were really force-feeding trying to get to the line,” TCU coach Jeff Mittie said.

“We were able to do that 30 times, so all in all, I thought we did just enough to win, and it was just one of those nights.”

The parade to the free throw line not only put TCU back in the lead, but seemed to put the Horned Frog shooters in a slightly better rhythm in the second half, shooting 30 percent against the Bobcats (1-2).

Sophomore Veja Hamilton found a niche in her role as a driving guard, getting to the free throw line six times and hitting all six chances as part of a total 10 points.

“So far this season my shot hasn’t been falling. I talked with my coaches and they said my main focus needed to be to get to the rim, so that’s what I was wanting to focus on tonight,” Hamilton said.

“I think I did a pretty decent job getting there and I knew if I got there I could make my free throws.”

From her first minutes into the game sophomore forward Caitlin Diaz knew her role on the team and executed it well, pulling down rebounds.

She finished with a career-high 11 rebounds, shattering her previous career best of seven in the Frogs’ season opener against Louisiana-Monroe.

The production comes from a confidence and drive she has found in her role on the team, Diaz said.

“I’ve always been kind of aggressive,” Diaz said. “My role has changed, that is the biggest thing.

“I know I need to be more aggressive and I know I need to get rebounds for the team. That is what I’m thinking about all the time.”

Ultimately, the Horned Frogs were able to pull away toward the end of the second half, thanks to free throws and outrebounding Texas State 52-44.

“We win a game tonight because we outrebound and grind it out,” Mittie said. “Hopefully the offense will come around because we’ve been all over the map. We’re just fortunate to get out of here tonight.”

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