FORT WORTH, Texas —
Senior guard Taylor Palmer used a trio of threes in the final minutes to lift the No. 20/24 West Virginia women’s basketball team past TCU, 66-62, Saturday at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
“It was a good game; both teams played hard. Give them a lot of credit and give my girls credit coming back,” coach Mike Carey said. “They went up five that one time in the second half and had the crowd involved and we were able to cut into it. I thought Asya Bussie for us just played a great game and Taylor Palmer hit some shots down the stretch and Jess Harlee did a good job defensively.”
The Mountaineers (19-3, 8-2) trailed by six, 52-46, with 7:50 left when Linda Stepney converted a pair of free throws followed by Palmer’s first three of the game to spark a 16-2 run down to the 2:34 mark. Palmer had 11 of WVU’s 16 points in the run, including three treys.
TCU’s Zahna Medley converted 4-of-4 from the free throw line, followed by a layup to make it a one-point game with 37 seconds remaining, but Palmer converted three of the final four free throw attempts and Jess Harlee blocked a Medley 3-point attempt with 13 seconds left to seal the win. All of Palmer’s 14 points came in the final 6:35.
WVU made 19-of-28 (67.9%) from the free throw line, while TCU made 82.4 percent (14-17). The Mountaineers outrebounded the Horned Frogs 52-26 with the help of senior center Asya Bussie who pulled down a career-best 15 rebounds to go with 19 points for her second-consecutive double-double. Bussie recorded 11-of-15 from the free throw line and was instrumental in gaining 15 second-chance points for WVU. She had six offensive boards, while junior forward Averee Fields matched Bussie with six offensive boards, and nine total rebounds, for 21 WVU offensive rebounds. Fields was one rebound shy of a double-double as she added 11 points.
WVU shot its worst field goal percentage since taking an overtime win from Texas on Jan. 12 when it recorded only 26.5 percent. The Mountaineers improved their shooting in the closing half for 35 percent (21-60) from the field and 29.4 percent (5-17) from 3-point range. The Horned Frogs (12-9, 3-6) trailed by only one point at halftime (28-27) and shot 36.8 percent from the field and 31.6 percent (6-19) from 3-point range.
TCU’s Medley recorded a game-leading 29 points, with 17 in the closing half, on 8-of-24 shooting from the field and 10-of-11 shooting from the free throw line. Natalie Ventress added 15 points. Medley and Chelsea Prince led TCU in rebounding with five boards apiece. Latricia Lovings recorded seven blocked shots.
The Mountaineers return to the court on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. as they take on Kansas State at the WVU Coliseum.