TCU Women’s Basketball has struggled against Texas historically, and especially since joining the Big 12 Conference. In fact, going into Friday night’s conference opener, the Horned Frogs were just 3-43 all time against the Horns, including a 2-10 record since becoming league foes again.
But this is a different TCU team, one that has played with a fierceness and a confidence that has been build foundationally over the course of Raegan Pebley’s tenure in Fort Worth. They went toe-to-toes with a ranked A&M team, one of their two losses in non-conference play, and haven’t been intimidated by any opponent so far this year. They certainly weren’t intimidated by the #25 Longhorns on their home floor Friday night.
UT was off to a 6-1 home start this season, but got all they could handle in the feisty Frogs, who were just 2-5 in conference openers coming into tonight’s game. But they came out ready to play, going shot for shot against the Horns in a very defensive first quarter, making five baskets to the Horns four to take a 13-12 lead after one. Texas got hot in the second, drilling three from long range and making nearly 50% of their shots to take a 32-27 advantage into the break.
But TCU wasn’t going to be denied.
A 23 point third quarter, highlighted by Lauren Heard’s ten points — she finished with a game-high 26 — and 11 points off of Texas turnovers, put the Frogs in front by five heading into the pivotal final frame.
There would be plenty of drama across the final ten minutes, as Texas got a strong performance off the bench (nine points) to claw their way back in it. At once leading by as many as nine points, the Frogs found themselves in a tie game with 1:39 remaining thanks to an 11-2 Longhorn run across a five minute stretch. Jayde Woods put TCU on top by one thanks to a free throw, but Texas’ LaShann Higgs drilled a three to give her team a two point advantage. Woods responded with a jumped in the paint to knot things up at 63, and Becky Obinma pulled down Higgs’ missed three with :18 ticks remaining, leading to a Pebley timeout. Lauren Heard got a good look out of the break, but her shot from the elbow rattled out. Thankfully, Michelle Berry was in the right place at the right time, and did this:
Heard’s 26 and five paced the Frogs, but Berry was a star as well with a 15 and 11 performance off of the bench. They were the only two TCU players in double figures as the team shot just 35.9% from the field — but did hit seven threes and went 12-16 from the free throw line. Texas was just 23-65 from the field and 9-16 from the line. TCU dominated in both points off of turnovers (22-13) and fast break points (13-2) to pull off the upset win on the road.
The win was TCU’s first in 43 years at Texas, and gives Pebley’s squad a strong argument to be considered when the next rankings release. But more importantly, the Frogs will look to start Big 12 play 2-0 when they return to the friendly confines of Schollmaier Arena Wednesday January 8th at 6:30 p.m. The contest will be streamed live on HFTV.