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TCU Women’s Basketball Roundup: Their Own Cinderella Story

Shocking the conference, TCU knocked off Kansas in the first round; takes Oklahoma to the brink

If you paid attention to the TCU Women’s Basketball team over the past two months (or read our weekly recaps), among the doom and gloom of a nearly-30 game losing streak was a glimmer of hope. At the tail end of the conference slate and season, the Frogs had started to find something that provided confidence that they are capable of winning games. Among a few blowouts and single-digit quarters was a team that found ways to out win the hustle statistics. Honestly, the offensive proficiency remained elusive as the team notched losses with fewer than 50 points on multiple occasions, but it gave the impression that if they could piece together a game where they win the rebound and turnover battle and take the lid off the basket for more than a half, TCU could win a conference game.

Ultimately, as Frogs ‘o War predicted, it happened in late February against a reeling Kansas State team in the Scholly. TCU dominated K-State on the glass and shot nearly 50% from three to claim a decisive double-digit victory at home for their first conference win of the season. Of course, we quickly wrote off the remaining games in the season and looked to shelve coverage until late 2023—but this team had one more Cinderella chapter for themselves before it was all said and done.

This week, in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament, TCU was the story of the first round, knocking off a solid Kansas squad 57 – 52. Taking it back another week, in TCU’s final game of the season, they were the recipient of a 23-point shellacking in the Scholly at the hands of the Jayhawks. In that game, the Frogs gave up a 50%+ FG rate to Kansas and soundly lost the turnover and rebound battles—something their decent shooting night simply could not overcome.

Coming back to last Thursday, Kansas posted one of their worst shooting efforts of the entire season, and the Frogs took full advantage. Coupling that with a 40% clip from deep, 9 steals, and winning the overall turnover battle, TCU made the Jayhawks pay for their mistakes. The game was close in the first half, tied after the first quarter and TCU only trailing by four at halftime. All season, the second half continuously foiled any chances TCU had in close games, but TCU tossed the status quo aside and posted an outstanding third quarter, and walked into the final frame with a four point lead that they did not relinquish in the remainder of the game. Tomi Taiwo led the way with 13 points, but four Frogs hit at least two three pointers, which was the difference in the contest.

The following day, TCU was matched up against Oklahoma, one of the highest scoring teams in the country, and a team that hung 93 and 101 points on TCU in their two conference matchups this season. TCU’s average margin of loss to Oklahoma was 25 points. The quarterfinals of the conference tournament were a completely different story, however.

TCU was stride for stride with the Sooners, leading at multiple points throughout the first half, building a lead as large as 10 at point. TCU scored 20+ in three of the four quarters, and their 8-point second quarter saw them give up the lead and they would spend the remainder of the game scrapping to try and resecure it. Outside of the second quarter drought, TCU refused to be dominated in any aspect of the game.

Turnovers, rebounds, and shooting percentage were toe-to-toe with Oklahoma all game. Lucy Ibeh led the Frogs in scoring with 24, and Tomi Taiwo contributed 3 threes for 11 points, but it simply wasn’t enough to keep the magic ride going. Still, I think that the team proved something to themselves and their conference cohorts that they can compete in the tough conference.

Congratulations to the Frogs for their stunning win and outstanding effort in the quarterfinals—we are looking forward to seeing how the team builds upon the positives to end this season and improve next year.