The emotion of Senior Day carried TCU early against #24 West Virginia, as the Horned Frogs spent most of the first half leading, tied, or within just a few points of a very good Mountaineers team.
Lauren Heard, who will graduate from the program as one of its most decorated players in history, set a career high in points with 34 — and she did it efficiently, going 12-16 from the field and 9-9 from the free throw line. She moved into 10th place on the TCU all-time scoring list with 1,344 career points, passing Amy Okonkwo’s (2016-19) total of 1,324 career points. Her effort from the free throw line moved her into third place on the TCU all-time free throws leaderboard with 411 career made free throws, passing Emily Carter’s (2007-11) 398 career free throws. “Everything about her is elite,” Raegan Pebley said. “elite parents, elite character, elite work ethic, elite skill. She’s an elite human. I love that I can laugh with her. cry with her, that we share so many of these moments.” Heard, who is majoring in psychology and plans to go into counseling, is “accessible available to everybody and just wants to serve,” Pebley continued. Heard carried her team in the first half, accounting for 13 of the Frogs’ 35 points. The Frogs were able to stay within three at the break thanks to an 8-8 start from the free throw line (the two teams combined to go 39-43 on the game, just a ridiculous effort) and a nice start from Yummy Morris, who made three of her first four shots and the fact that both teams turned it over 10 times through the first 20 minutes.
But the Eers pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring the Frogs 18-10 and out-rebounding them 14-10. TCU had four turnovers in the frame to WVU’s one, and while both teams shot just 30% from the field, West Virginia had seven more attempts. The Frogs were hurt by a rough day from behind the arc, making just five of their 20 attempts. Coach Pebley believes it to be an anomaly, and thinks her shooters will self-correct with the long break between games. “Sometimes the shots just don't fall. You just have to trust work, trust that the work is going to turn those into makes.”
In addition to Heard’s big game, Aahliyah Jackson added 9/6 and Yummy Morris went for 8/4. Patricia Morris, the 6’7” transfer from Oregon State, also returned to action from injury for the first time in a month, scoring eight points with an 8-8 mark from the free throw line and added two rebounds. Pebley likes what she adds to the rotation. “Great to see Patricia out there,” Pebley said. “Her ceiling is high — not just because she’s 6’7” and it has to be — but high in potential,” she quipped. Ultimately, Pebley was happy with the performance, if still disappointed in the outcome. “Much better performance than at Baylor, more of the consistency that we are working to try and build. We are going to continue to work on consistency in approach and performance as we prepare — we will likely finish Big 12 play on the road for two weeks straight so it’s important that we recover. Creating balance, that’s my job.”
The Frogs will have an extended break between games once again, with their next scheduled match set for next Sunday, February 7th at Kansas.