TCU women roll past Oklahoma 76-66 on emotional senior night

03/01/2014 11:17 PM

03/01/2014 11:48 PM

The storylines were plentiful in TCU’s 76-66 home finale win over Oklahoma on Saturday.

The final buzzer sounded on the Horned Frogs’ women’s basketball tenure in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, which will will undergo a massive face-lift over the next 18 months.

Fittingly, it was a senior — set up by another senior — who scored the final points on senior night of the 2013-14 season.

With eight seconds left, Meagan Henson dished to walk-on Alexann Yancey — players who see limited time for the Horned Frogs — for a layup at the buzzer.

They were Yancey’s third and fourth points of the season, but they came against her former team.

“It felt great. I’m not going to lie, I was saying prayers the whole way,” Yancey said. “It was great to get the final points in the DMC and also to be able to score against OU, my previous team.”

While it was a special moment for the entire team to see its home schedule end in storybook fashion, the spotlight shone brightest on senior center Latricia Lovings as it has throughout the season.

Lovings closed out her TCU career at Daniel-Meyer by emphasizing what she has done best over her years at TCU — play defense.

Lovings blocked four shots, extending her school-record streak of consecutive games with a swat to 68 games, to go along with four steals, seven rebounds and six points.

Two non-seniors — junior Natalie Ventress and sophomore Veja Hamilton — stepped up to carry the game for TCU (16-13, 7-10 Big 12).

Ventress tied her season high for 3-pointers with four, three of which came in the second half.

Saturday was special for Ventress, who closed out her days playing with lifelong teammate Lovings, both of whom are Fort Worth natives.

“We were all tearing up after the game,” Ventress said. “It’s really emotional, especially for LT and for me.”

While the pace was chaotic at times as emotion ruled TCU’s play, it seemed to work for the Horned Frogs despite Mittie’s typical slow, half-court style of play. TCU shot 50 percent from the field, a high in conference play this season, and 50 percent from behind the arc, also a season high.

Sophomore guard Zahna Medley led the Horned Frogs in scoring with 22 points, followed closely by 20 from Ventress. Hamilton had a breakout game after a slow play during conference, finishing with 16 points and six steals.

Oklahoma senior guard Aaryn Ellenberg led the Sooners (17-13, 8-9) with a game-high 26 points, going 5 for 9 from 3-point range.

The TCU women’s basketball program said goodbye to plenty Saturday night, but those emotions gave closure to a program heading into its final regular-season game and the Big 12 tournament.

“We were just so emotional about leaving each other and about it being the last game in the DMC. I really think the emotions really helped us play harder than we usually do,” Lovings said.

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