KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The No. 7 seed West Virginia Mountaineers wanted no part of any drama, as they took care of No. 10 TCU, 68-48, in the first round of the Big 12 Women’s Tournament.
In fact, by halftime the Mountaineers (15-14) were up 34-11. No one for TCU had more than two points, and Jayla Hemingway already had nine points for the Mountaineers.
TCU did make a surge in the fourth quarter, thanks to an 11-0 run, to cut the Mountaineer lead to 53-40 with about four minutes left. But that was as close as the Horned Frogs got.
With the win, West Virginia earns another shot at Iowa State in the Big 12 quarterfinals at 5 p.m. on Friday. The Cyclones beat the Mountaineers twice this season.
The Mountaineers will go into that game having won four of their last five games. The one loss was the Mountaineers’ regular season finale to Iowa State, 74-57, in Morgantown.
TCU (6-22) ends the season on a 14-game losing streak and its worst season under head coach Raegan Pebley. The Horned Frogs have now won 16 games in their last two seasons.
West Virginia won both regular-season meetings with the Horned Frogs, winning 66-54 on Jan. 25 in Morgantown and 70-62 on Feb. 2 in Fort Worth.
The Mountaineers were up 17-5 after the first quarter as TCU struggled to hit anything, shooting 15.4 percent for the first half.
Madisen Smith finished with 29 points for West Virignia. JJ Quinerly scored 16 points and Hemingway finished with nine points.
Okako Adika scored 17 points for the Horned Frogs. Lauren Heard, in what was her final game at TCU, finished with 14 points. Heard leaves the Horned Frogs as the all-time leading scorer in men’s and women’s basketball, and as the all-time leader in games played in the Big 12 Conference. She was a fifth-year senior.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.