West Virginia tops TCU, advances to Semi's

Peter Casey-US PRESSWIRE

Asya Bussie led the 2nd seeded Mountaineers with 18 points and 13 rebound.

The West Virginia Mountaineers (28-3) overcame a tenacious TCU Horned Frogs (18-14) team to advance to the semi-finals of the Big 12 Conference Tournament and won 67-59.

For West Virginia it's already the farthest they've advanced in the Big 12 Championships after last year's quarter final exit. West Virginia has already set a new school record for most wins in a single season with 28 victories.

TCU had their largest lead in the first half when Zahna Medley hit two free throws, giving the seventh seeded Horned Frogs a 27-23 lead with 4:38 remaining. The Mountaineers closed out the remaining half on an 8-4 advantage, tying it at 31-all at halftime.

Too much Bussie though, for the Horned Frogs. The senior from Randallstown, Md., Bussie, played all 40 minutes and was able to stay out of foul trouble for a majority of the game. She tallied 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting, grabbed 13 boards, seven offensive, and had for assists.

Medley, the sophomore, played lights out for the Horned Frogs, scoring 32 points on 8-of-17 shooting. She hit six treys, four in the first half. When West Virginia began to double her, she would find a way to get her team mates involved. However, she was the only one that scored in double figures.

A real big key was with 2:15 remaining in the game, Latricia Lovings, a big defender for TCU left the game with an apparent injury. Her status at his moment is unknown, but she was grabbing her head and went immediately to the locker room. West Virginia was able to outscore the Horned Frogs 10-3 down the stretch without Lovings.

While Lovings wasn't an enforcer on the offensive side, she did block seven shots, pull down seven boards and really make the paint tough to score in for West Virginia.

Taylor Palmer, the Big 12's Sixth Player of the Year award winner, finished with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Christal Caldwell contributed 10 points and six assists in the victory for West Virginia.

After going 4-of-8 from three-point range in the first half, West Virginia extended their defense and pushed the Horned Frogs off the perimeter after shooting just 2-of-11 from deep in the second half.

TCU's regular season is now over. They are a very longshot to make the NCAA Tournament, and will be a WNIT participant when the brackets are released in about 10 days. They return a majority of their offense. They lose the big shot blocker in Lovings, but they practically return everyone that is a key contributor to their staunch defense.

West Virginia now waits for a showdown with either the 6th seeded Oklahoma Sooners or the 3rd seeded Texas Longhorns. West Virginia swept the series with Oklahoma and split with the Longhorns. With Texas, both teams won on their own home court. Then after the conference tournament, the Mountaineers will look to win a national championship.

Follow @OKCChuck on Twitter for your Big 12 Championship needs all weekend.

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