TCU held the Bearkats to 20 percent shooting in the first quarter. The Frogs needed all 10 of junior guard Toree Thompson’s first-quarter points to take a slim 28-22 lead at halftime.
The second half was the complete opposite.
Senior Jada Butts started the third quarter with five consecutive points as Sam Houston State had turnovers on their first two possessions. In the third quarter alone, the Frogs forced 11 turnovers.
“We knew we had more effort and more time to give, and we were not doing that in the first quarter,” Butts said on the pace of the game after halftime. “And she [Raegan Pebley] told us, ‘play better, push yourself no matter what the score is’.”
Freshman guard Amber Ramirez scored all nine of her points in the third quarter off 3-pointers. She and junior guard A.J. Alix tied for game-high honors with seven assists each. As a team, TCU posted 24 assists and just 10 turnovers.
The fourth quarter was no different as TCU held the Bearkats to 1-of-18 shooting over the final 10 minutes. In just the second half, TCU outscored the Bearkats 53-15, marking the fifth time in program history TCU has held a team under 15 points in a second half.
In the overall game, the Frogs held Sam Houston State to 15.7 percent (8-of-51) shooting, marking it the third best defensive effort in school history.
Kianna Ray and Jordan Moore joined Thompson and Amy Okonkwo in double figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively. They each hit 5-of-6 from the floor and Moore posted a team-high three blocks.
“In general, it allowed us to get more aggressive. We knew to have each other’s back a little more,” Pebley said on switching defenses at halftime. “Which meant we couldn’t rest off the ball, and I always think once you start generating scoring off from your defense, it will make things easier and it forces a team to play uphill against you. And making those tweaks in our defense and applying our press definitely helped. It’s been a part of what we know we can do and we have a few plays that can help us change things up.”
TCU will tip off the third of its four-game homestand when SMU visits Schollmaier Arena at 2 p.m. Sunday. The meeting will be the 59th all-time between TCU and SMU, the most against any opponent in program history for TCU.