It was a physical, hard-fought game for the Horned Frogs as they put together a late run in the second half to finish off the Longhorns Sunday afternoon.
TCU improved to 5-4 in Big 12 play thanks to Chelsea Prince’s 12 points, 9 rebounds and 7 steals. Every point for Prince came behind the arc as she hit a career-high four 3-pointers.
“[Kelsey Lang] just kept leaving me open, so I took them,” Prince said. “And they were going in tonight.”
Despite getting dominated in the paint, 38-16, TCU was able to create turnovers with full-court pressure and an aggressive defense.
Centers Imani McGee-Stafford and Kelsey Lang combined for 35 points and 15 rebounds, but the duo turned the ball over too much, dropping the Longhorns to 15-5 overall and 4-5 in the Big 12.
“You look at our post players, and they’ve got nine turnovers,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said. “And that’s just not being tough with the ball. You can’t bring it down with a team like this. They’re scrappy and they know what they have to do. You have to be a little bit tougher than we were today.”
The Horned Frogs forced 25 turnovers, including 15 in the first half, to spark their impressive victory and improve to 13-7 overall.
Aston didn’t have an answer for the high number of mistakes.
“It’s hard to explain,” he said. “We went over all of this in practice yesterday, and we turned it over a lot in practice yesterday. So I thought we played the game today like we practiced.”
On the offensive end, TCU shot well from 3-point range, going 7-11 in the second half.
But TCU found most of it’s help in the play of Prince and sophomore Klara Bradshaw.
“K.B. created a nice presence in the paint for us, defensively and helped tremendously” head coach Raegan Pebley said. “And clearly Chelsea here on my left, seven steals. But it’s not just the steals, it’s what she brings and the presence she brings defensively and I loved her confidence offensively tonight as well.”
Junior Veja Hamilton continued her hot hand scoring a team-high 16 points despite playing only 27 minutes due to foul trouble and a cut above her right eye. She now has scored double digits in 11 of Horned Frogs last 12 games.
The key moment in the game came at the 2:26 mark during freshman Ariel Atkins’ free throws. Bradshaw tried to enter the game during Atkins’ second free throw and was issued a technical foul.
“We’ll take ownership for that,” Pebley said. “I think she was excited to go in and I was excited to put her in and there was just a miscommunication in that moment.”
Atkins then went on to hit all of her free throws and tie the game, 57-57.
But Pebley said the call didn’t affect the team negatively.
“I thought it actually fueled our crowd,” Pebley said. “They kind of got a little angry about it and that’s fun. We just talked about what needed to get done.”
Prince went down on the next possession, sunk a 3-pointer, and the Horned Frogs never looked back.
Medley and Ventress also scored double digits for the Frogs.
“You see balance in our scoring because I think there is also balance in our leadership,” Pebley said.
TCU will take on West Virginia in Morgantown on Wednesday.