The TCU women’s basketball team goes for its sixth consecutive win Saturday at Schollmaier Arena.
It’s quite a stretch for the No. 24 Horned Frogs (14-5, 5-3 Big 12) , who started out 0-3 in the league.
Wins over two top 15 teams in Texas and West Virginia and a five-point win at Kansas State Wednesday night has TCU in its best conference stretch since it won six straight in the Mountain West in January 2011. The Frogs have already avenged two of the three early losses; Oklahoma (10-10, 5-4) would make it a trifecta. The teams play at 2 p.m. Saturday.
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“When you can win on the road, I don’t care who it’s against, you’re going to value you that because it’s so hard to do,” TCU coach Raegan Pebley said. “It’s tough in the Big 12 because there is so much parity.”
Baylor (17-1, 7-0) and Texas (15-3, 6-1) are the only teams apart from the pack in the Big 12. TCU upset Texas on Jan. 10 but has yet to play Baylor. TCU and Oklahoma are in a scrum of four teams with five Big 12 wins.
“It’s so fortunate, but we’ve earned the fortune as well, to be in this situation right now,” Pebley said. “But we can’t rest on our laurels. We have to stay really intentional and get better every day.”
Defense, especially late in games, has been the catalyst for the turnaround, Pebley said. Close games, including five losses by 10 or fewer points in the Big 12 a year ago, are no longer slipping away.
“We continue to build confidence that our defense and rebounding is what is going to secure you those games,” she said. “We’re staying in the moment and not getting too stressed and too caught up in the moment.”
Part of the improvement is maturity.
“I think it’s growth. Last year we had 10 freshmen and sophomores. We were extremely young,” Pebley said. “We were in so many games in the fourth quarter and we just didn’t have that development and maturation as a team and we were really learning how to close out.”
Pebley said senior guard Toree Thompson, who has an undisclosed injury and did not play Wednesday, will be a game-time decision on Saturday. She’s averaged 9.9 points in 18 starts this season.
TCU vs. Oklahoma
2 p.m. Saturday, Schollmaier Arena