Playing with an interim head coach and without standout center Latricia Lovings, TCU saw its season come to end Wednesday night with a 78-71 loss to Colorado in the first round of the Women’s NIT.
The Horned Frogs (18-15) played one day after head coach Jeff Mittie resigned to fill the vacancy at Kansas State. Associate head coach Brian Ostermann guided the Frogs on Wednesday as interim head coach.
Lovings, a 6-foot-3 senior from Fort Worth Paschal and one of the nation’s top shot blockers, had a shoulder injury, according to a game report, and didn’t play in what would have been her final game.
TCU rallied from a 16-point second half deficit to tie Colorado 59-59 on sophomore Zahna Medley’s jump shot with 5:10 to play, capping a 21-5 run.
The Pacific-12 Buffaloes, however, built the lead back to 71-61 and TCU never go closer than six after two free throws by Medley made it 71-65 with 1:15 to play.
Medley led TCU with 23 points on 6 of 15 shooting, 4 of 10 on 3-pointers. Danielle Breaux had 19 points on 6 of 11 shooting, and Natalie Ventress had 14.
Colorado (18-14) outshot TCU 49.1 percent to 40.7 and had a decisive 40-26 advantage in rebounding.
Mittie had said he hoped that he could coach through the WNIT but both Kansas State and TCU were afraid of the story leaking early.
Mittie won a school-record 303 games in 15 seasons with the Frogs.
Arielle Roberson, a sophomore from San Antonio, led Colorado with 18 points. Jamee Swan had 16 and Ashley Wilson 13.
The Buffaloes led 42-30 at halftime. Colorado went on an 11-3 run to end the first half after Medley’s 3-pointer cut TCU’s deficit to 31-27 with 5:35 left.
Colorado will play the winner of the Southern Utah-Colorado State game in the WNIT second round.