Donielle Breaux sparks TCU’s rally over Kansas
01/08/2014 11:02 PM
11/12/2014 3:38 PM
The TCU women’s basketball team faced Kansas three times last season, and all three were losses, including one by one point.
Each one weighed heavily on TCU junior guard Donielle Breaux.
Breaux spent her freshman season in Jayhawk red and blue, when she saw action in 11 games, never scoring more than two points.
On Wednesday, Breaux not only saw her wish for a win against her former school come to fruition with a 52-50 Horned Frogs’ victory, but she was the main catalyst for a 15-point comeback in the final minutes of the game.
Breaux’s desire to beat her former team and put up a solid performance was evident to her teammates before the Big 12 meeting between the schools.
“We knew it meant a lot to her,” TCU senior center Latricia Lovings said. “We don’t like to talk about last year, but both games against KU were close. We saw after the game how much it hurt her to lose close games.”
With just over 5 minutes left in the game and Kansas (7-8, 0-3 Big 12) taking its largest lead of the game at 11 points, Breaux went on a personal 10-0 run to bring her team within one point with 3 minutes to play.
“Before the game started, the team knows how much we wanted to win this game and how much I personally wanted to win this game,” Breaux said. “We just all fall together. There’s really nothing much I can say. We just all stick together.”
It was Breaux’s teammates who eventually put TCU (11-4, 2-1) in the lead to bring home the victory.
Breaux’s run started what would be a 15-0 run for the Horned Frogs that was closed by a 3-pointer by junior forward Natalie Ventress and a baseline jumper from sophomore guard Veja Hamilton that would be the eventual game-winner.
Breaux finished with a team-high 14 points, which did not come as any surprise to her former coach.
“She can shoot it, and there was good looks for her,” Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson said.
The first half was a defensive struggle that saw only Kansas junior guard Natalie Knight succeed, going 3 for 4 from behind the arc and scoring 11 of Kansas’ 21 halftime points. She finished with a game-high 20.
It wasn’t until a timeout with around 8 minutes left that TCU coach Jeff Mittie said he really saw a shift in his team.
On the court after the timeout, Breaux said her teammates emotionally kindled her rally.
“When we got back on the floor, we talked together and said, ‘We have this game, and we’re not going to lose this game,’ ” Breaux said.
And with a defensive rebound and a free throw by Lovings with less than 10 seconds left, Breaux’s teammates picked up the important win.
“We knew how much it meant to D-Breaux, so we did it for her,” Lovings said.
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