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Oklahoma State 78, TCU Women’s Basketball 53: Natasha Mack’s triple-double shuts down Frogs

The Cowgirls got an incredible effort from their senior forward and the Horned Frogs had no answer on either end.

The Baylor hangover can be very real.

TCU Women’s Basketball found that out Wednesday night as they quickly fell behind the visiting Oklahoma State Cowgirls 12-2 less than three minutes into their matchup at Schollmaier Arena. The Pokes started 8-11 from the field and 2-2 from behind the arc before coming back to earth some, while TCU made just six shots in the frame. But a breakout performance by freshman Aja Holmes kept the Frogs in the ball game, as she drained a trio of three pointers in the first frame to keep her team within six after one.

But every run by the Frogs was answered by the Pokes in the second quarter; TCU cut the lead to as few as four points in the frame, but OSU led by 12 at the break. A tough shooting night from behind the arc (4-13 in the first half) and from the free throw line (1-4 to start the game) didn’t help things, nor did star guard Lauren Heard’s slow start. The senior had just two points on six shot attempts in the first 20 minutes, and finished just 2-12 on the night, not looking quite herself after taking an elbow to the head and leaving the floor to get stitches in the first half. Coach Pebley said after the game that she wasn’t her best self after. “I don’t know if she was really herself the rest of the game. You know your players, you know when they are playing at their highest level. I’m not sure that she was.” She was the focus of the defenses attention once again Wednesday whenever she was on the floor, facing the same double teams that harassed her when Baylor was in town. Teams are going to make someone else beat them — and outside of Holmes, the strategy worked to a T in the first half of play.

Unfortunately, things did not improve for the Horned Frogs out of the break.

Though TCU hit five of their six free throws in the frame, they made just four shots from the field, while Oklahoma State shot 60% from the field and hit two of three behind the arc to stretch the lead to 25. OK State’s Natasha Mack was a force in the quarter and the game, converting 5-6 FG attempts for 11 points in the third quarter alone, and finishing with 28 on the night. She recorded a triple double, adding 17 rebounds and 10 blocks, absolutely shutting down the interior defensively against the Frogs. Hate to see it come against TCU, by my goodness was she worth the price of admission. She added six steals for good measure, too.

The Frogs were led by Holmes’ 14, buoyed by a quartet of threes — but only one in the final 30 minutes of play. Tavy Diggs added eight and Michelle Berry seven, with Heard and Yummy Morris pitching in six each. Morris and Berry also attacked the glass hard, pulling down seven apiece. The Frogs turned the ball over 17 times, and OSU converted them into 23 points.

The Horned Frogs head to Norman this weekend for a matchup with Oklahoma. Their game at Kansas State scheduled for Wednesday, January 14th has been postponed due to COVID issues within the Jayhawks’ program.