FORT WORTH, TX -- West Virginia head coach Mike Carey recently recorded his 600th career victory with a 72-35 win over Kansas. It's safe to say that momentum, even with a full week off, sailed through Fort Worth Sunday afternoon as the Mountaineers dominated TCU 97-84. Before the match, West Virginia had an overall record of 8-1 against TCU.
"Thank goodness we had the big lead in the first half. I thought we played extremely hard, played great defense, got out on our shooters, stopped the penetration, and just hitting our shots the first half. Second half they just played harder than we did...in the end, we got the win, and that's the most important thing" said coach Carey.
The Mountaineers (16-4) were looking to write history as senior Bria Holmes was 18 points away from climbing to No. 3 on WVU's all-time scoring chart. Holmes easily scored over 18 points notching her that spot in the fourth quarter.
"I'm just honored and blessed really. I just think it's great that I can be on the all-time scoring leaders list," said Holmes.
"Bria is one of the most unselfish people...she had eight assists today and very easily could have went in and scored...but she's been a great player here for four years and one of the top players that has ever played for West Virginia and on top of that she's a good student and a good person that makes it worthwhile," said coach Carey.
The Horned Frogs (11-8) were coming off of a two-game losing streak, but that wasn't stopping senior Zahna Medley, who was just 10 points shy of tying Adrianne Ross for third on the TCU all-time scoring list. Medley earned her 10 points and the No. 3 spot in the third quarter.
WVU took charge rather early in the first half almost going shot for shot against the Horned Frogs. It didn't take long for them to create and maintain a lead resulting in TCU trailing 50-23 going into halftime. A change of pace was much needed, and head coach Raegan Pebley was well aware.
"You know the Big 12, when you're playing against ranked opponents or non-ranked opponents it doesn't matter. You can't waste time. If you waste time anyone in this league can double you up real fast," said coach Pebley.
The Horned Frogs tried to cut the deficit down by scoring 27 points in the third quarter, but the Mountaineers' high-scoring drive maintained their lead going into the fourth quarter 70-50.
"We definitely showed a lot more toughness in the second half in how we competed. There wasn't a single thing we changed in our game plan. There was just better effort," said coach Pebley.
One thing is for sure; the Horned Frogs have a knack for coming from behind for the victory under coach Pebley. TCU posted six wins last season after they overcame a deficit of eight points or more in the contest.
That wasn't the case Sunday afternoon for the "Queens of Comeback". A total of 20 turnovers and missed opportunities put the nail in the coffin for the Horned Frogs.
"West Virginia is a great team. They did a better job of...sticking to playing to their strengths and their game plan," said coach Pebley.
TCU is among the nation's top three-point shooting teams and currently have the top three three-point shooters in the Big 12 with AJ Alix (.464), Toree Thompson (.455) and Medley (.440). However, the three-point trio could not keep up with the Mountaineers fast paced scorers such as Jessica Morton, Teana Muldrow, and Holmes. WVU has shot 41.8 percent or higher in 15 of 19 games this season.
Morton led the team in scoring with 26 points and four assists. Adding to the board, Holmes notched 22 points and eight assists with help from Muldrow's 21 points and 10 rebounds.
For TCU, Alix led with 26 points and eight assists. Medley came in second with 16 points and four assists and Jada Butts and Caitlin Diaz tied with 11 points each.
"I felt like I could give more and so that's what I did. It was just too late, and I should have done that in the beginning," said Butts.
"I'm looking forward to taking this team on the road to continue to get tested. I'm still really optimistic and realistic that great things can happen for this team," said coach Pebley.
The Horned Frogs embark on a three-game road trip against Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. Tip-off at Iowa is set for 7:00 pm.
WVU will also hit the road to take on Oklahoma. Tip-off is set for 8:00 pm.