Strong defense and offensive patience led TCU women’s basketball to their fourth straight victory Saturday, defeating Montana State 71-49.
The team only trailed for 23 seconds and led by double digits for three-quarters of the game.
“I really felt like we performed today in the game similar to how we practiced this week,” said head coach Raegan Pebley. “We had great practices leading into this game.”
The Horned Frogs forced a contested three-point shot at the end of the shot clock on the first Bobcat possession, setting the tone for a suffocating 40 minutes of defense. Montana State would finish the game shooting just 38.5 percent from the field and made just two of their 20 three-point attempts.
The Bobcats’ 38.5 percent mark was the highest a team has shot against the Horned Frogs defense all season, a testament to the strength of their defense.
The Horned Frogs forced 15 turnovers to go along with 10 blocks and never allowed Montana State to get comfortable.
Senior Jordan Moore had three blocks and seven rebounds, highlighting a continued growth on the defensive end that Pebly took notice of.
“Jordan’s defensive effort I think is something that we’re continuing to watch and see grow,” she said.
Moore continued her dominance on the offensive end as well, scoring 17 points on a perfect 8-8 shooting.
The senior has scored in double-digits every game this season, including six games with more than 15 points.
Pebley stressed the importance of Moore’s game-to-game consistency and that of her teammates to keep finding her in the best spots.
“I think it’s equally important that her teammates around her are understanding where she is, when to get her the ball, how to get her the ball,” said Pebley.
Guards Lauren Heard and Ryann Payne also scored in double digits. Payne’s 12 points were a career-high.
Heard also posted seven rebounds, a skill that allowed her to start the fastbreak earlier and helped the Horned Frogs to push the lead at the end of the first quarter.
“I think that’s the beauty of getting a rebound and being a guard that you don’t have to wait for an outlet you can just advance it,” said Heard.
Heard would finish with three of the team’s 22 assists. The Bobcats only had seven total assists, highlighting the defensive strength of TCU and their patience on offense.
The team assisted on 22 of their 29 baskets and often waited deep into the shot clock for the best shot possible.
“This is a selfless team that’s really willing to let other people shine,” said Pebley.
Kianna Ray led the way with six assists, finding a way to contribute despite going just 1-5 from the field.
Pebley said that Montana State resembled the playing style of a Big 12 team, providing a good experience for the Horned Frogs.
The 7-1 start is tied for the team’s best record through eight games in the last 15 seasons and they will look to continue their strong play as non-conference play winds down.
They will return to the court at 12 p.m. next Sunday when they take on the Southern Jaguars at Schollmaier Arena.