When Latricia Lovings began her career at TCU, women’s basketball shot-blocking legend Sandora Irvin not only gave her Lovings blessing but challenged her to break any of the records Irvin set while a Horned Frog.
Saturday, Lovings took one step closer to that goal, tying Irvin’s streak for most consecutive games with a blocked shot at 62 in the Horned Frogs’ 72-57 victory over Texas Tech at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
With eight minutes remaining in the first half, Lovings rejected Amber Battles’ shot in the paint, extending the streak. Lovings, who ranks second nationally in blocked shots per game, finished Saturday’s game with two blocks.
“It means a lot,” Lovings said of the achievement. “I’ve talked to Sandora since my freshman year and she’s always had high hopes for me. She told me if I could break any of her records to do it.
“To do that, it’s an honor and it’s very humbling because she’s one of TCU’s greats.”
“It just shows how much consistency she brings to every game,” TCU coach Jeff Mittie said. “When we recruited L.T., I thought she was the most instinctive shot blocker that I’ve seen. She has really proven herself to this team.”
Beyond the blocked shots, Lovings was a key cog in a TCU defense that frustrated a young Texas Tech squad, Red Raiders coach Candi Whitaker said.
TCU’s standard 2-3 zone had an active game, pushing Tech’s guards far out on the perimeter and forced 16 Tech turnovers, many on errant passes, resulting in 11 steals.
TCU forward Chelsea Prince and guard Donielle Breaux finished with four steals apiece.
“Breaux had a lot of steals in the beginning and even Chelsea, with those long arms of hers, getting deflections slows down their offensive game plan,” TCU guard Zahna Medley said. “I felt like they were getting frustrated with it.”
Medley finished with a game-high 23 points, but found plenty of offensive support from guard Natalie Ventress and Prince, finishing with 20 and 12 points, respectively.
The Horned Frogs (14-9, 5-6 Big 12) shot 53 percent in the second half and 47 percent for the game.
“I’m just taking my time when I was going to the basket,” Medley said. “Having poise and control, which is what Coach always tells us, instead of going in out of control. Sometimes I can’t take it all the way to the basket, so having patience and pulling up for a little jumper is helping a lot.”
TCU pounded the paint on offense, scoring 36 of its 72 points in the lane.
Beyond Lovings’ individual accomplishment Saturday, TCU won its first game against Texas Tech (6-17, 0-12) at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in 17 tries, and only the program’s second win over the Red Raiders all-time, the first coming earlier this season in Lubbock.
“These little type of nuggets are things they want to knock off their list,” Mittie said. “Let’s get this thing knocked off. So that’s what they’ve done.”
Saturday’s victory was the 299th of Mittie’s career.