MORGANTOWN, W.Va — West Virginia has clawed back to even in the Big 12.
The Mountaineers earned their second league win on Tuesday after dominating TCU 77-45 at the WVU Coliseum. The home team pulled away behind a collaborative second half in which 11 Mountaineers contributed to the scoring load.
“I thought our young ladies did a really good job of making an adjustment and attacking first,” said WVU coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “Those are tight things that we’ve been continuing to learn and I thought that those lessons if we continue to develop in each situation and learn from games…we’re going to keep our understanding growing throughout the course of the season and that’s what’s important.”
The Horned Frog offense was slow to arrive at the contest. TCU missed its first 10 shots and scored four points in the first quarter, finishing the period with a field goal percentage of just eight.
TCU fought back in the second quarter, taking advantage of a lackluster period to close the gap to eight points at halftime.
“We got a little undisciplined,” Plitzuweit said. “We didn’t box out, that’s a discipline thing that we didn’t do a very good job of, and then we put ourselves in spots that we got called for fouls because we fouled them….And then, I thought we cleaned those things up.”
WVU took over in the second half as, again, the Horned Frogs got out to a timid start on offense. The Mountaineers blasted out of the locker room, shooting 64 percent and holding TCU to just seven. That sealed the game as the Horned Frogs found an offensive footing in the fourth quarter but couldn’t progress on their mounting deficit.
Madisen Smith, the team’s leading scorer who was honored for scoring her 1,000th career point in a pregame ceremony, led the game with 18 points and added eight assists. Savannah Samuel added 13 points to the winning effort, while JJ Quinerly chipped in another 11.
“We knew that in the past that we’ve had a let-down third quarter and we can’t do that the whole season,” Smith said. “We’ve got to be able to put our foot on the gas and play the whole game.”
WVU forward Tavy Diggs, who transferred from TCU in the offseason, added eight and played some crucial minutes as starter Kylee Blacksten found some early foul trouble.
TCU leading scorer Tomi Taiwo was held to just five points in the game on 2-of-11 shooting. Lucy Ibeh was the only Horned Frog in double figures with 13 points.
The Mountaineers next turn their attention to Baylor, who comes to the WVU Coliseum on Sunday. Tip-off between the 18th-ranked Lady Bears and the Mountaineers is set for 3 p.m. ET.