Women's Basketball, WVU Sports

Madisen Smith, WVU’s defense lead Mountaineers to rout of TCU

MORGANTOWN — The self chats, Madisen Smith admits, happen after every rough shooting night.

Over the course of five seasons and 127 games, maybe no one on the WVU women’s basketball roster knows quite like Smith how to take the good with the bad.

“I just tell myself to keep shooting,” she said. “I’m a great shooter. I know I am. My teammates believe in me and I believe I have to believe in myself.”


The WVU point guard was a combined 3 of 23 in her last two games, but that all changed Tuesday night, as the Mountaineers knocked off TCU 77-45 inside the Coliseum.

Smith didn’t miss a shot in the first quarter, including two 3-pointers, and bounced back to the tune of 18 points and eight assists against the Horned Frogs (6-9, 0-4 Big 12).

“She’s someone who plays a lot of minutes and she was sort of banged up and toughed it out on the road,” WVU head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “That certainly plays a factor into all of it, too. She’s getting healthier and felt a little bit better. I just think she’s someone we count on for a great deal on both ends of the court.”

While Smith found her shot, the Mountaineers (11-4, 2-2) clamped down on defense.

TCU made just one of its first 12 attempts and at the end of the first quarter, the Horned Frogs had just four points.

“We obviously struggled tonight offensively,” TCU head coach Raegan Pebley said while sporting a TCU football shirt, a night after the Horned Frogs were beaten by Georgia in the national championship game.

WVU’s defense had much to do with that, forcing 19 turnovers, as well as forcing TCU to abandon its perimeter game.

Just one game after scoring 33 points against Texas Tech, TCU guard Tomi Taiwo was held to five on 2 of 11 shooting and the Horned Frogs were just 1 of 13 from behind the arc.

“I think we’re a great defensive team and we get a lot of steals,” Smith said. “When we let our defense turn into our offense, that’s when we’re at our best.”

WVU led, 17-4, after the first quarter, and then came out in the third quarter and held TCU without a point until the 5:22 mark.

The 45 points allowed was the least given up by the Mountaineers in Big 12 play since 2019.

“I thought TCU had played really hard and was getting on the offensive glass extremely hard,” Plitzuweit said. “Basketball is a game of spurts, and you know it’s not going to be like that the whole time. It’s kind of how you weather the storm. I give our players a ton of credit, the way they came out in the third quarter spoke volumes of our ability to play disciplined and make adjustments.”

Savannah Samuel came off the bench and had her best game of the season with 13 points and J.J. Quinerly added 11more for the Mountaineers, who host No. 18 Baylor on Sunday.

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