After suffering several major injuries and forfeiting two conference games last week, TCU Women’s Basketball responded in a big way in their first game back with a win over UCF this past Tuesday. The Frogs gutted out a 66-60 win at home to end a four-game losing streak and prove that they are still a dangerous team going forward.
Despite having to change the starting lineup significantly and having to turn more to inexperienced players, the Frogs did a great job of moving the ball and setting each other up for good shots. The Frogs picked up 19 assists as a team in the game, seven more than UCF. The Frogs’ defense also stepped up, forcing 22 UCF turnovers leading to 28 points for TCU off of those turnovers.
The TCU defense held the Knights to an abysmal 21.3 percent shooting percentage from three. The one area for improvement for the Frogs defensively will be to limit offensive rebounds as UCF had 11 in the game. TCU’s offense was fairly balanced against the Knights with almost half of their points coming in the paint.
The Frogs shot decently from three, shooting just over 32 percent from deep, and very well at the free throw line, making 10-of-12 attempts. The Frogs came out hot in the first quarter, outscoring the Knights 27-15 and building up a 16-point lead at one point. The Knights battled back in the second, outscoring the Frogs by 10, cutting the lead to two points going into halftime.
The lead would be cut down to one going into the fourth quarter as the UCF offense had a good third quarter, scoring 19 points. TCU would hold on to win thanks to a great play made by Victoria Flores who made a steal and a layup on the fast break to give the Frogs a two-point lead with just over a minute left in the game.
In addition to the multiple major injuries that occurred last week, it was announced just before the start of the game that TCU would be without their star guard Madison Conner against UCF. In her absence, Aaliyah Roberson stepped in to lead the Frogs in scoring with 17 points on an efficient 8-for-10 from the field. Roberson has seen an uptick in playing time with the injuries and has stepped up in a big way for the Frogs. Roberson also collected four rebounds, a block, and an assist in the game.
Sydney Harris provided some hot shooting off the bench for TCU, knocking down three threes on her way to fourteen points and four rebounds. Also shooting the ball well was Una Jovanovic who hit both attempts from three and totaled eleven points, three rebounds, and two assists. Agnes Emma-Nnopu was very impactful on the boards, grabbing eight rebounds while also scoring 10 points and dishing out two assists and two steals.
Perhaps the coolest storyline of the game was Sarah Sylvester checking into the game for the Frogs. Sylvester is now officially a dual-sport athlete as she competed for TCU Volleyball this fall and made the basketball team via the open tryouts held last week and checked into the game against UCF on Tuesday.
The Frogs will travel to Lubbock for their next game against Texas Tech taking place this afternoon, Jan. 27, at 2 p.mm. The Lady Raiders had a very hot start to the season winning their first 11 games. They have leveled off a bit since entering conference play as they currently sit at 4-4 in Big 12 play, but are still a very solid team.
Texas Tech has a pair of 14-point-per-game scoring guards in Bailey Maupin and Jasmine Shavers who carry the load offensively. If the Frogs can slow Maupin and Shavers down, they will have a great chance to pick up a quality win on the road.