A strong defensive effort from the TCU women’s basketball team led to a 69-48 win over the Texas Tech Lady Raiders in Schollmaier Arena Wednesday night.
The win improved the Horned Frogs’ record to 11-5 (3-2 in Big 12 play), while Tech fell to 9-7 (0-5). TCU swept the Lady Raiders this year, winning the first contest 78-69 in Lubbock on Dec. 30.
TCU’s defense held their opponents to single-digit points in the second and third quarters while forcing 22 turnovers in total.
It was a rough shooting night all around for the Lady Raiders. Tech shot just 32 percent from the field and 50 percent from the free-throw line. The Lady Raiders also couldn’t connect from deep, going 4-21 from the 3-point line.
TCU shot an abnormally low 23 percent from beyond the arc, but finished shooting 47 percent from the field and 92 percent from the charity stripe.
Guard Veja Hamilton said postgame there was a focus in practice on balancing scoring.
“We didn’t want to rely on three-point shooting so much,” Hamilton said. “We have a set game plan, and the coaches do a good job of making sure we stick to it.”
Texas Tech head coach Candi Whitaker said TCU’s presence in the paint was a key factor in the Frogs’ ability to solve the Tech defense.
Veja Hamilton paced the Frogs with 14 points on 6-9 shooting. Zahna Medley and Jada Butts each added 12 points for TCU.
Medley’s 8 assists moved her to 3rd all-time in the career assist category for TCU, passing Jill Sutton.
Medley, in her characteristically humble style, said she gives credit to the program for her accomplishment.
“It’s definitely exciting, but it wouldn’t be possible if my teammates didn’t make the shots,” Medley said.
The win marked TCU’s largest margin of victory in a Big 12 game since joining the conference in 2012.
The first quarter saw TCU try to pound the ball down low, which was uncharacteristic for the Big 12’s leading 3-point shooting team. All of TCU’s made field goals in the quarter came in and around the paint, while the Frogs’ lone shot from deep clanged off the rim with 1:36 remaining in the first quarter.
TCU raced out to a 6 point lead in the first three minutes, but two Texas Tech 3-pointers closed the gap, and Japreece Dean’s buzzer-beating three gave the Lady Raiders a 17-16 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Frogs ratcheted up their defense in the second quarter, forcing 8 turnovers and holding Texas Tech to just 9 points in the period. TCU also finally got shots to fall from behind the arc, hitting three 3-pointers en route to scoring 23 total points in the quarter. The Frogs opened the quarter on a 13-0 run and took a 39-26 lead into the break.
The third quarter was less free-flowing to start, as the teams combined to score just 6 points in the first 5 minutes of play. Texas Tech scored 8 points in the quarter due to a cold shooting streak, while TCU shot just one 3-pointer in the quarter and worked Tech’s defense in the paint to take a 57-34 lead into the 4th quarter.
Texas Tech closed the gap slightly in the final period, winning the quarter 14-11, but the Lady Raiders never seriously threatened down the stretch. The Frogs dribbled out the clock to win their third game in their new home arena.
TCU will next take on the Kansas State Wildcats, who are coached by former TCU head coach Jeff Mittie, in Manhattan, Kansas, on Jan. 16. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.