Double digit performances from TCU not enough to overcome No. 22 Oklahoma State

Sophomore Natalie Ventress and senior Delisa Gross both scored in double-figures Tuesday night, but No. 22 Oklahoma State was able to record a 76-59 victory at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Natalie Ventress led the Horned Frogs on the night with a game-high 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field, including 6-of-8 from deep. Her 20-point outing marks the third time this season the sophomore has gone for 20 or more points in a single-game. Gross followed with a season-high 13 points, all of which came in the second half. The Waco native really seemed to spark the Frogs in the second frame, scoring 10-straight points for TCU during the midway point of the period.

In all, the Purple and White outscored the Cowgirls in the second half, 35-32, after trailing at intermission. TCU, who shot 45.8 percent from beyond the arc Tuesday, closed within 13 late, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

With the loss, TCU moved to 7-14 overall and 0-10 in league play, while Oklahoma State improved to 16-5 overall and 5-5 in conference action.

The Cowgirls were carried by Tiffany Bias’ 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from deep. Toni Young also had a stellar night with 18 points and a game-high 14 boards.

After forcing an Oklahoma State turnover on the opening possession of the second half, Zahna Medley buried a three from the top of the key to make it 44-27. The Cowgirls brought the score to 46-27 on the next possession off a jumper, but Ventress would have nothing of it early on, scoring an old-fashioned three-point play.

A mini 4-0 run by Oklahoma State made the scoreboard read 52-30 at the 15:34 mark of the second period as the Frogs tried everything they could to pull closer in the ballgame.

With 12:33 showing on the scoreboard Gross lit a fire on the offensive end of the court, nailing back-to-back buckets to inch the Frogs within 19. A few plays later, the senior continued to push the Frogs in the second frame of play, draining a triple from the right side of the court.

TCU pulled within 58-42 with a little over eight minutes remaining in the game when Gross powered home a layup plus the foul for her 10th point of the contest. In all, the Waco native scored 10-straight for the Frogs during the stretch of play

With a little over five minutes to go, Gross went back to work, hitting her second triple of the period, which brought the scoreboard to 62-47. A few plays later, Ventress ripped the nets for two deep three’s, which brought the Oklahoma State lead to only 68-55 down the stretch.

The Cowgirls were able to ice the game at the line Tuesday to move the series record to 4-1 all-time.

The Frogs got it rolling right from the opening tip, stealing the rock on one end and then watching as Ventress tickled the twine on back-to-back trips to give TCU an early 6-0 lead. Oklahoma State battled back to take a 10-6 lead off a 10-0 run before Cole sunk a triple from the right side of the court to pull the Purple and White back within one four minutes into the contest.

The Cowgirls responded though, pushing their lead to 30-10 a few moments later, but Ventress ended the Oklahoma State run, hitting her third three of the opening frame at the 7:56 mark. The sophomore continued her onslaught from deep a few plays later, drilling another trey ball off an assist by Medley. In all, the Fort Worth native scored 12 of TCU’s first 16 points in the game.

With time running down in the first half and the Cowgirls leading 39-16, the Frogs tried to chip away at the OSU lead as Latricia Lovings rebounded her own miss and found the bottom of the net with a little over three minutes to go. A few plays later, Kamy Cole swiped an OSU player and drove through traffic to loop a pass over to Ventress down low for a tough three-point play.

The two teams would trade possessions the next couple of trips to bring the halftime score to 44-24 in favor of the Cowgirls.

TCU will continue conference play on Saturday, Feb. 9 against Texas Tech. Oklahoma State travels to No. 23 Oklahoma for a Sunday game.

Game Notes
• TCU moved to 7-14 overall and 0-10 in the Big 12.
• Oklahoma State leads the all-time series, 4-1.
• TCU and Oklahoma State played for the first time since 2008 Tuesday night.
• Natalie Ventress scored in double-figures for the 12th time this season.
• Delisa Gross posted a season-high 13 points Tuesday night.
• Ventress scored in double-figures for the 30th time in her young career.
• Ventress set a new career-high in three’s made Tuesday.
• Ventress posted her third 20-point game this season Tuesday.
• Gross recorded season-highs in both field goals made and attempted.
• Gross scored in double-figures for the third time this year.

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