TCU Women’s Basketball opens their postseason Thursday night at 6:30pm against the Lamar Cardinals, hosting the Southland champs in the first round of the Women’s NIT. Much like Jamie Dixon a year ago, coach Raegan Pebley hopes to ride the momentum of a long NIT run this year and turn it into an NCAA Tournament bid next.
Basketball inside Schollmaier Arena this week— TCU Women’s Basketball (@TCUWbasketball) March 13, 2018
The Frogs will host Southland champion Lamar on Thursday in the @WomensNIT! Game time and ticket information will be announced on Tuesday! #FrogsOMarch pic.twitter.com/4XNdrrSLU9
The Frogs finished 19-12 overall and 9-9 in conference play, at one point stringing together seven straight conference victories, including upset wins over Texas and WVU. TCU also pulled off an impressive win over NCAA Tournament-bound Oklahoma in the opening round of the Big 12 Championship tourney before falling to eventual conference champion Baylor.
Lamar went 22-7 on the year, winning the regular season Southland Conference title with a 17-1 league record. But, the Cardinals were upset in the first round of the conference tourney by Nicholls, who went on to win the whole thing and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in their history. Located in Beaumont, TX, the Cardinals are led Moe Kinard, one of four players to average in the double-digits scoring, with 16.0 ppg. They average more than 77 ppg as a team while holding opponents under 62, and while they don’t shoot it well (40.6% from the field, 28.3% from three, and 61.7% from the free throw line) they are pretty absurd on defense - forcing a nation’s best 17.3 steals per game. That’s insane. Junior Chastadie Barrs, who played at DeSoto, had 188 of those steals on the season, a number that led the country by 30+. They forced 28 turnovers per game, scoring nearly 30 points per game off of those change of possessions.
This should be a fun matchup between a great offense and an opportunistic, aggressive defense. Both teams finished in the top 50 in the country in points per game, so offense won’t be at a premium, and it will be interesting to see how the Cardinals handle the Frogs’ tough interior combination Amy Okonkwo, Jordan Moore, and Kianna Ray.
The Frogs will need the home crowd behind them to pull of a win and keep dancing. Make sure you get to Fort Worth and support them Thursday night!