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TCU Horned Frogs leap past rival SMU; start season 3-0

The TCU Horned Frogs start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2011 as they defeat school rival SMU 89-79 at Moody Coliseum.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas, TX -- The Horned Frogs hit the court with high energy that at one point deemed too much for SMU to keep up with. TCU definitely took charge of the momentum for most of the first half.

The cross-town rivals had a passionate back and forth first quarter with TCU's senior guard Zahna Medley and SMU's sophomore forward Alicia Froling going shot for shot.

Trying to slow down the Horned Frogs offense, the Mustangs double-teamed Medley all night long. However, that was not enough as the All-American finished the first half with 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Froling was playing a physical game as well with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 assist at the end of the second quarter. The Horned Frogs started scoring quickly and early in the first half, resulting in a 55-35 lead going into halftime, which is a key factor to winning according to TCU head coach Raegan Pebley.

One thing is for sure, TCU is stacked with shooters from the court to the bench and SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola seems to agree.

"Veja Hamilton, that first half, was just on point...she's a great mid-range jump shooter," said Coach Rompola.

In fact, before tonight's game the Horned Frogs had seven players averaging at least 8 points a game, including newcomers freshman Jordan Moore, senior transfer Destynee Hives-McCray and sophomore transfer Toree Thompson.

The second half was a game of catch-up for the Mustangs as the Horned Frogs increased their lead to 72-53 at the start of the fourth quarter.

"I talked about our fight and emotion, not having our heads down," said Coach Rompola during halftime.

As TCU cranked up the intensity with fluid ball movement in the field, SMU answered right back cutting the lead down to 88-75 with less than two minutes left in regulation.

"We were able to build a lead, and I knew they were going to come back because they are a good team," said coach Pebley.

Time was not on the Mustangs side as the Horned Frogs snubbed the win with a final score of 89-79.

"We just didn't get enough stops...every time we would creep up we would get it to maybe ten. We had a couple of transition situations where we made the wrong decisions..."

"Our game plan was to stay on the shooters and every time we had a defensive error, they took advantage of it," said Coach Rompola.

The Mustangs errors indeed paved a way for the Horned Frogs to capitalize and score each time. SMU women's hoops have one thing on their mind: bounce back from last season's injury depleted team. SMU suffered 14 straight losses finishing with the worst record (7-23) in head coach Rompola's 24 seasons.

Mustangs junior guard Ashley Gibson and Froling were the main scorers for SMU down in the paint. Gibson finished the night with 18 points and 4 assists along with Froling banking in 26 points and 14 rebounds.

The Horned Frogs were perfect on the evening in free throws making all nine attempts.

Medley ended the night with 17 points, 3 rebounds and 7 assists and senior guard Veja Hamilton adding 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. The duo also had help from Moore and Hives-McCray with 12 points and Thompson with 13 points.

"Anytime you can get a win on the road; that's awesome."

"It's confidence when you can win on the road...A&M is going to be a whole new game, and we are going to have to play great team basketball to beat them in College Station," said coach Pebley.

TCU hits the road again on Saturday to take on No. 12 Texas A&M. Tip-off is set for 1:30 pm.