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Mountaineers use depth to defeat TCU for second time in as many weeks

The West Virginia women’s basketball team took care of business in Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday, defeating TCU for the second time in back-to-back weeks, 70-62.

The Mountaineers (11-8, 4-5 Big 12) used a variety of scorers on the night which included Madisen Smith’s 18 points, JJ Quinerly’s 16 points and Esmery Martinez’s 11 points.

TCU (6-12, 2-7 Big 12) also had a trio of scorers finish in double figures on Wednesday in Lauren Heard’s 22 points as well as Michelle Berry and Kayla Mokwuah’s 10 points apiece.

The Mountaineers began the game on a high note with an Esmery Martinez three before TCU went on a 7-0 run through the next minute of the opening quarter. The Horned Frogs got behind a Berry three to take the four-point lead three minutes into the quarter.

Quinerly then hit a three-pointer following the TCU scoring surge and Smith drove in for a layup to put the Mountaineers ahead. Smith was able to get fouled later in the first and knock down a couple free throws before Ari Gray hit a two-point jumper as well as a layup for the 20-15 advantage heading to the second.

Mountaineer Jayla Hemingway knocked down a three-pointer a couple minutes into the second quarter to extend West Virginia’s advantage to 10 points, 25-15. A Savannah Samuel layup four minutes into the quarter paced the 10-point West Virginia margin before TCU’s Aja Holmes was able to bring the score within six points after a three-pointer, 31-25.

TCU’s Heard and Makwuah each hit a pair of jump shots from inside three-point range with two minutes remaining before halftime to slim the margin to six points heading to the locker room, 37-31. Mountaineers Smith and Martinez led the Mountaineer first half scoring with eight and seven points, respectively.

Following a pair of threes from TCU’s Berry and Mountaineer Quinerly, West Virginia led four minutes into the third quarter, 44-36. After TCU got it down to a six-point deficit with three minutes remaining in the third, Smith nailed a three-pointer for the Mountaineers nine-point lead. That was before Samuel dribbled in for a layup with a minute before the fourth for the 51-40 West Virginia advantage.

The game went to the fourth quarter with West Virginia leading TCU by 11 points, 53-42. The Horned Frogs cut their deficit down to six points a couple minutes into the fourth after a Tara Manumaleuga three. West Virginia’s Quinerly then dribbled in for a layup a few minutes later to extend the Mountaineers lead back to 11 points in the final quarter.

The closest that TCU was able to bring their deficit within West Virginia the rest of the way was six points including one time after an Okako Adika three-pointer as well as another Berry three with only 10 seconds left in regulation. The Horned Frogs then fouled Smith for a pair of free throws with only a few seconds remaining in the game for the eight-point Mountaineer victory, 70-62.

West Virginia will now travel a bit north to matchup against Oklahoma this Saturday, February 5 at 4 p.m. ET. inside Lloyd Noble Center.

Photo by Dale Sparks, All Pro Photography

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