TCU Comes Back to Win at Home

Dec. 11, 2016

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FORT WORTH, Texas -- The TCU women's basketball team trailed for most of the game, but made clutch plays late and came from behind to beat McNeese, 74-70, at Schollmaier Arena on Sunday.

TCU (6-3) was down by nine points early in the fourth quarter, but just two minutes later tied the game, and from there the game was a back-and-forth affair.

With the score tied, 70-70, and under a minute to go, Kianna Ray drove the baseline and scored the go-ahead layup with 37 seconds remaining. McNeese (4-4) then ran the clock down, but with two seconds on the shot clock, and nine on the game clock, AJ Alix blocked Caitlin Davis' potential go-ahead 3-pointer to seal the game.

Ray finished with a season-high 16 points, but Amy Okonkwo was the biggest contributor in the score column, especially in the second half. Okonkwo finished with 17 points, scoring 15 in the second half and nine in the fourth quarter.

The Rundown
McNeese used a 12-0 run in the first quarter to take control of a game that was close early. The Cowgirls hit 5-of-8 3-pointers in that first quarter, and cooled off just slightly in the second with 3-of-8 in the second 10 minutes.

Overall in the first half, McNeese hit 8-of-16 3-pointers, forced TCU into 13 turnovers, and after leading by as many as 12 points late in the second quarter, led by eight at halftime, 34-26.

TCU trailed by 11 points, 43-32, with 6:08 to go in the third quarter, but Okonkwo scored six straight points for the Frogs and sparked an 11-2 run that got the TCU within two, 44-42. Alix's third 3-pointer of the game capped the run as she finished with 10 points. The Cowgirls led by three, 51-48, after the third quarter.

The lead grew to nine, 57-48, in the first minute of the fourth quarter, but TCU rebounded quickly. It took the Frogs exactly two minutes to rattle off a 9-0 run and tie the game, 57-57 with 6:58 to go.

TCU finally took the lead on a 3-pointer from Ray with 4:07 remaining that made the score 65-62. It was the Frogs' first lead since early in the first quarter. From there the teams exchanged four more lead changes, the final coming on a Mikayla Christian 3-pointer that put TCU up, 70-68, with 1:52 remaining.

Davis then hit two free throws for McNeese to tie the score at 70-70, setting up Ray's deciding bucket just over a minute later. Alix's block in the waning seconds forced McNeese into a shot clock violation and was followed by two free throws from Toree Thompson to seal the game.

After shooting just 33 percent in the first half, TCU hit 52 percent (15-of-29) in the second half as it made the comeback. TCU hit a season-high 23-of-36 free throws while making 7-of-19 3-pointers.

Stat of the Game
10 -- McNeese entered the game leading the NCAA with 20 offensive rebounds per game, but the Frogs held the Cowgirls to just 10 offensive rebounds and five second-chance point on Sunday. TCU outrebounded McNeese, 36-33, overall.

Quote of the Game
Raegan Pebley on McNeese - "There was a lot of fatigue for us I felt like heading into this game, and I knew this team was good enough to beat us. They've (McNeese) got a lot of experience on the floor, they've been to postseason six times in a row and advanced in postseason. They are a really disciplined team that can shoot the three really well, and the three is a great neutralizer."

- The win was the 198th of Raegan Pebley's head-coaching career.
- TCU won for the 42nd time in its last 44 home games against unranked teams.
- TCU is now 14-5 at Schollmaier Arena and 35-9 at home under Pebley.
- The Frogs won their 32nd consecutive game against current Southland Conference teams.
- TCU's 26 first-half points were its fewest this season and the eight-point halftime deficit was tied for the largest this season.
- TCU scored 48 points in the second half, tying for the second most this season.
- TCU is now 5-24 when trailing at halftime under Pebley.
- The Frogs hit seven 3-pointers, giving them at least six in every game this season.
- McNeese hit 11 3-pointers, more than the Frogs had allowed in their last three games combined (Butler-4, LSU-0, Texas A&M-5).
- Sophomore Amy Okonkwo scored 15 of her 17 points in the second half. It was her third game this season with 15 or more points.
- Freshman Kianna Ray scored a season-high 16 points, her second double-figure scoring game of the season. She also added a season-high five assists.
- Sophomore Jordan Moore recorded a block on the game's first possession, giving her seven straight games with at least one block.
- Moore finished with three blocks, moving her career total to 72 blocks and putting her along in fourth place on TCU's career blocks leaderboard.
- Moore finished with 11 points, giving her two straight double-figure scoring games and five overall this season.
- AJ Alix finished with 10 points and three 3-pointers, her sixth double-figure scoring game of the season and her fifth game with three or more 3-pointers. She has 28 and 18 such games, respectively, in her career.

Up Next
TCU will take a week off for finals before hosting Texas Southern on Sunday, December 18, at 1 p.m. at Schollmaier Arena.



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