College Sports

December 18, 2013

TCU rout of ACU provides comeback for Frogs walk-on

TCU women 82, Abilene Christian 55

Three years ago, TCU senior guard Alexann Yancey believed she had scored her final collegiate basketball points.

She quit the Oklahoma basketball team to transfer to TCU, scoring her last points in 2010.

Yancey, a senior walk-on for the Horned Frogs, returned to the score sheet Wednesday after a long hiatus in an 82-55 TCU rout of Abilene Christian (7-4).

“When I stopped playing in 2010, I thought I was done playing basketball,” Yancey said. “At that point, no, I didn’t think I’d score again.”

With two minutes left and TCU’s bench emptied with a blowout lead, Yancey received a pass on the left side of the rim with a wide-open lane in front of her.

Most observers would think the layup would be the optimum way to score, but not Yancey and her teammates.

“It was kind of an ongoing joke with the team,” Yancey said. “I happen to miss a lot of layups in practice. I kind of knew the bench was going to be really nervous for me because I was nervous for myself.”

The 5-foot-8 senior from Plano West drove to the paint and finished the left-handed layup to the surprise and excitement of her teammates on the bench who jumped up and cheered on the transfer who usually resides at the far end of the bench.

It came as a surprise to coach Jeff Mittie, who has come to know Yancey as a good shooter from range, not driving to the rim.

“Normally, she hits a lot of 3s,” Mittie said. “So she had three wide-open 3s, so I’m thinking she’s going to bury one of those and a layup was coming so everyone was like, ‘oh, no.’ ”

Yancey’s two points were one of the many bright spots for the Frogs (7-3), whose offense came together for one of the first times this season.

Sophomore guard Veja Hamilton led all scorers with 18 points and career highs in assists (6) and steals (5).

However, it was Hamilton’s play at the other end of the court that was impressive.

“I feel like my defense, mainly the second half, is what helped us to come alive in the second half as far as rotations and getting defensive rebounds,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton was able to find a soft spot in the middle of ACU’s zone in the first half and helped build a lead TCU never relinquished, dishing assists to the low post.

TCU outscored ACU in the paint 38-12, many of which came off ACU’s 23 turnovers, resulting in 35 points for the Frogs.

ACU’s strength was outside shooting, hitting 13 of 33 shots from 3-point range, which tied for eighth most ever against TCU.

Mittie was pleased with his team’s ability to find different ways to win this game, especially when the 3-pointer wasn’t falling. TCU hit only 3 of 14 attempts.

And, should the team need points from Yancey, she’s confident she can rise to the challenge as she did Wednesday.

“When I started playing again, I believed that there would be another left-handed layup sometime,” Yancey said with a laugh.

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