A hobbled Donielle Breaux gave her best performance as a Horned Frog, but it wasn’t enough to quell SMU as TCU lost 72-68 in overtime Wednesday at the Curtis Culwell Center.
The junior guard entered the game with an infected blister on her foot that kept her from being full speed,TCU coach Jeff Mittie said. But she managed to lead the Horned Frogs in scoring with a career-high 20 points, rebounds (8), field goals (5), field-goal attempts (13), 3-pointers (4), 3-point attempts (9), free throws (6), free throw attempts (6) and minutes (32).
“She was fairly hobbled, but she played through it and toughed it out,” Mittie said.
Coming off the bench, Breaux sparked a TCU offense that went dormant after an early 8-0 run. The Horned Frogs failed to score a point for seven minutes of the first half.
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With two minutes left in the opening period, Breaux hit her first points of the game with a 3-pointer on the end of a 15-0 SMU run.
Breaux’s seven points before the half brought TCU back to a five-point deficit after the Frogs trailed by as many as 12.
SMU made an early 4-0 run in the second half, but two more 3-pointers and eight points from Breaux took back the lead for TCU, 41-39, with 11:39 left in the game.
TCU (1-1) would go up as much as 12 with six minutes left in the game but couldn’t contain SMU. The Mustangs (2-0) sparked an 11-1 run, going back in front with 2:21 remaining.
“Our guards just need to play better together in getting each other shots, and that’s not what they are doing well,” Mittie said. “When I look at our turnover numbers they are way too high.”
The SMU run was made possible by senior guard Keena Mays, who netted nine points in about a four-minute span late in the second half after being held to three points in the first half. The former Mansfield Timberview standout would finish with a game-high 25 points, 12 of which came from behind the arc.
“She’s a heck of a player,” Mittie said. “She’s like [TCU sophomore guard Zahna] Medley. You can do some good things, but if you give her one look she can make you pay.”
Regulation ended with the score tied at 59, and SMU took charge of the extra frame with Mays scoring seven points.
Breaux left the game with just over a minute to play in regulation with what Mittie said was a calf cramp and did not return for the overtime period.
Struggling guard play resulted in Mittie‘s staying with a three-guard set for the majority of the second half, limiting the minutes of 6-foot-6 freshman center Klara Bradshaw, who was very effective in the first few minutes of the game but finished with nine points.
SMU locked down Medley, allowing her just one basket from behind the arc after she lit up the Mustangs last year with nine baskets from 3-point range.
“We need to squeeze teams when we have them down like that,” Mittie said, referring to TCU’s second-half lead. “Tonight, we didn’t do it.”
The teams played at an off-campus site for the first time in their series history because of renovations to SMU’s Moody Coliseum.