Daniel-Meyer Coliseum was quickly overrun by a pinked-out TCU team that pulled off a dramatic 64-63 win, defeating Oklahoma State in the closing seconds of a Wednesday evening thriller.
"It was just nice to see the thing bounce out," TCU head coach Jeff Mittie said postgame after his squad won the program's first ever Big 12 game.
Finishing games on the losing end of the dramatic is all TCU (8-17, 1-13 Big 12) has known. Since Big 12 play started in January, the Frogs have fallen short in five of their league games by a combined 16 points.
"I think about the K-State game when we lost at the buzzer," senior Delisa Gross said. "The Kansas game too. I think when it came down in this game to this game, I think our whole team told ourselves we are not going to lose today."
This victory was the first win recorded since TCU defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 69-38. A winless Big 12 campaign began at the turn of the calendar when Baylor beat TCU by 39 at the DMC.
"It's been well documented, our struggles, but this group has had a good attitude and has come to work every day," Mittie said.
Oklahoma State head coach Jim Littell said, "A lot of kids, when they would be 0-13, would maybe mail it in and not finish the season, but we knew coming in here how hard they were going to play."
The end of the game looked all orange and black as Cowgirl guard Tiffany Bias hit a deep 3-point shot to give Oklahoma State their first double digit lead of the game around the five-minute mark.
TCU answered with consecutive buckets from guards Zahna Medley and Natalie Ventress, the two leading scorers on the squad who struggled in the first half. Medley hit from beyond the arc to cut the deficit to 63-62 with 1:22 remaining in the game.
Oklahoma State (18-7, 7-7 Big 12) tried to find the hot-handed Liz Donohoe, who finished with a game-high 22 points, but came up empty on the ensuing possesion.
TCU had the ball with a chance to take the lead in the final 70 seconds. Gross converted an acrobatic layup with 1:04 showing on the clock to put the Frogs ahead 64-63.
"I just remember catching it, and said, 'OK. I'm either going to get a foul or make this layup,'" Gross said. "I tried to go up strong and get a foul, but it went in."
Mittie chuckled and quickly added, "We were shouting at her to kick it out."
Gross, who finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds off the bench, said the locker room was so loud that she could not even hear the aftermath of winning the game. Mittie said the two parties shared different reactions on the win.
"Mine was relief," Mittie said with an undertoned laugh. "Theirs was elation."
TCU was lifted by the performance of guard Donielle Breaux, who came off the bench to score 12 points in 21 minutes. Ventress and Medley also reached double digits in scoring as Latricia Lovings snatched up 9 rebounds with her 8 points.
"We'll let them enjoy this one a little bit," Mittie said. "Our preparation will start right after this game."
The Frogs host West Virginia Saturday evening. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.