The TCU basketball season started off with a bang as the women’s team defeated the Duquesne Dukes 61-48 in the first-ever matchup between the two programs. The win marked the team’s seventh-straight home opener victory.
“It’s great that you can start out 1-0, especially if you’re able to get a win against such a great quality, well-coached team with so many returns like Duquesne,” said TCU head coach Raegan Pebley.
TCU started the game in complete control. The Frogs were up by seven at the first media timeout and were dominating defensively. Duquesne missed their first ten shots from the field and didn’t score during the first seven minutes of the game.
Although Duquesne had recorded seven team fouls in the opening quarter, TCU had gone just 3-8 from the foul line. Pebley said her squad is a better free-throw shooting team than what they showed Tuesday.
The Dukes went on a 7-0 run to come within one point in the second quarter. TCU struggled to shoot anywhere outside the paint during the period, missing five straight jumpers.
The Frogs went back to attacking from the paint and finished the half on a 9-2 run to give them a 27-18 lead at the break.
At the half, forward Jordan Moore led all players with 12 points. The Frogs were only shooting 28.6 percent from three and 25 percent from the free throw line.
Just like the first half, the Frogs started the second half on fire. With Moore on the bench for an extended period of time, forward Amy Okonkwo stepped up big for TCU. The preseason All-Big 12 forward scored nine points in the first five minutes of the second half, extending the Frogs’ lead to 17.
Okonkwo led the team in scoring from the bench last season with 14.4 points per game and Pebley made the decision to put her in the starting line up to start this season.
“Wherever I am, I’m gonna have to perform,” Okonkwo said. “It doesn’t matter if I come off the bench or if I start, the same thing is expected of me.”
Duquense responded to the 17 point deficit with a 12-2 run. Their shooting percentage had risen to 30.8, shooting 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Moore got back involved midway through the fourth quarter, scoring four straight points for TCU to raise her total to 18 for the game.
The Frogs were able to cruise to victory from that point.
Pebley played almost the entirety of her roster, using 12 players and getting points from nine of them.
“Last year, that was a signature element of our team, where we played a lot of people,” Peebly said.
Moore and Okonkwo finished with a combined 17-23 for 38 points.
“We always talk about this unspoken chemistry,” Moore said about her relationship with Okonkwo. “I feel like that will take us pretty far in this season, just because we have been practicing with each other for a long time.”
The Frogs will stay in the friendly confines of Schollmaier Arena this Sunday for their matchup with Mississippi Valley State. Tipoff is scheduled for noon.