“TCU just didn’t quit and didn’t go away, and we got real, real comfortable out there,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said.
TCU head coach Raegan Pebley credited her players for pushing through a rough first half. She said shots fell for TCU’s “great shooters” in the fourth quarter that they just didn’t make in the first half.
“Had a couple more of those fallen [in the first half], especially at certain key moments in the game, you see a little bit more momentum built up,” Pebley said.
The loss dropped the Horned Frogs’ record to 12-11 overall and 4-8 in conference play. The win for Baylor increased their lead over TCU in the all-time series between the two teams to 30-5. The Bears have won the last 20 contests in the series.
The Frogs haven’t had an easy schedule of late. They faced a ranked team for the eighth time in their last 20 games, including four games against top-6 teams.
TCU’s conference-leading 27 percent defense on three-point field goals didn’t come in handy against the Bears on Wednesday night. Their gameplay down low did the Frogs in. TCU was outscored in the point 22-40 and out-rebounded by 21 (31-52) by the Baylor bigs.
“We have big post players…and then we come in with big players, we’re going to get post touches,” Mulkey said. “We’re not going to shoot the 3 like everybody in the conference does because we have bigs inside.”
In actuality, Baylor didn’t even take over the ball game until the second quarter. TCU started the game 6-0 behind two three-pointers by senior forward Caitlin Diaz.
After those six points, Baylor took off. The game truly began to unravel for the Frogs at the end of the first half, as TCU Head Coach Raegan Pebley picked up a technical with 20 seconds left in the half.
The Bears led 39-25 at the end of the second quarter but exploded to a 63-38 lead after three.
Baylor just bullied TCU in the third quarter. The Bears increased their rebounding edge over to the Frogs to a 42-21 margin, and they kept shooting high-percentage shots in the paint to increase their points in the paint margin to 24 (36-12).
After only scoring eight points in the first three quarters, Medley forgot how to miss, shooting 5-5 for 16 points, 24 in the game. Medley sparked the Horned Frogs to a 37-point outburst in the fourth quarter, but it wouldn’t be enough.
Medley said she believes her teammates’ encouragement allowed her to play relaxed, which led to her perfect quarter.
“They [my teammates] were just telling me, ‘Z, I don’t care how many shots you miss, I still want you to shoot,'” Medley said.
Sophomore point guard AJ Alix followed Medley’s lead by shooting 5-7 in the fourth quarter for 13 points, 18 points for the game.
Defensively, the Frogs adapted a foul-oriented game-plan to extend the game.
“So, a little bit of hack-a-Shaq situation,” Pebley said. “And sometimes they still got an offensive rebound in those situations, but we just needed to lengthen the game to give us a chance.”
The 37 points in the fourth quarter is the most Baylor has given up in a quarter all season, and the 75 total points by TCU is the most Baylor has given up in a game this season.
Despite the loss, Medley took away some positives from Wednesday night’s game.
“I think it just allows us to build confidence going into the next game,” she said. “I think we needed to see some shots fall for us…having that great chemistry at the end will build toward the next game.”
The Horned Frogs return to the Schollmaier Arena hardwood Saturday at 1 p.m. against Iowa State.