After losing four of their first six Big 12 games, TCU women’s basketball made a statement on Tuesday by beating Oklahoma 86-71 in a game in which they never trailed.
“[I’m] just proud of our team,” Raegan Pebley said. “If you get too low or too high, you miss an opportunity to get better.”
TCU got big performances from center Jordan Moore, forward Amy Okonkwo and guard Lauren Heard, all three of whom contributed to the Horned Frogs shooting 45.5 percent as a team. The trio combined for 59 points, while Moore added 14 rebounds and four blocks on her own.
The 86 points scored by TCU were their third-highest total this season.
The first half was all Horned Frogs, as they started the game on an 18-8 run, thanks to 4-for-5 shooting from deep as a team.
Stout defense and good decision-making carried TCU to a 39-24 halftime lead. They had forced 12 turnovers in the half while committing only six.
“We just really, really want to continue to build our identity on the defensive end of the floor,” Pebley said. “Our defense in the non-conference did some awesome things, and we want to carry that over into conference play.”
The Horned Frogs would go on to force 21 turnovers (committing only 13), producing 29 points off of those turnovers. Okonkwo was key in this area, as she had three steals and a block in the game.
“We talk to each other on defense a lot, and having that communication is what really keeps that fire and keeps us going and keeps us aggressive on defense,” Moore said.
Although the Sooners pulled within seven midway through the fourth quarter, the second half was much of the same for the Horned Frogs. Oklahoma had no answer for Moore, as she shot 6-for-9 en route to 17 of her game-high 25 points in the second half alone.
While they struggled from the free throw line early in the season, TCU shot 20-for-24 from the line in the contest, helping them put the game away in the closing minutes.
The Horned Frogs held Oklahoma’s leading scorer, Taylor Robertson (16.6 points per game) to just five points on the night.
“I think we worked really hard off ball,” Pebley said. “I think the assistants that did the scout on this — they did a really good job of prepping us.”
The win improves the Horned Frogs to 13-5 on the season and 3-4 in Big 12 play. TCU has now won three-straight games against Oklahoma.
The Horned Frogs will look to reach .500 in Big 12 play on Sunday, Jan. 27 when they match up with Kansas. Tipoff at Schollmaier Arena is scheduled for 12 p.m.
“We get in the gym and get better,” Moore said about the way TCU is working to overcome a slow Big 12 start. “There’s no room for taking steps back.”