One of the two teams that occupies Schollmaier Arena is receiving the lion’s share of the attention this season after winning the NIT last year and being considered one of the top teams in the country.
But the TCU women’s basketball team has made a recent grab for the spotlight that shines regularly on the men’s team. They have actually defeated a top-10 team in Big 12 play this season.
And, for good measure, another in the Top 25.
The Horned Frogs rolled into a weeklong break riding victories over then No. 7-Texas and then-No. 15 West Virginia. Selected by NCAA.com as the Team of the Week, TCU returns to the court Saturday with a home game against Kansas at 2 p.m.
While the Frogs don’t want to forget how they won those games — a lesson was learned in them — they know that they can’t rest on their laurels.
“What we’ve just continued to reiterate is that in the Big 12 Conference, you can’t get caught up in the highs too much and you can’t find yourself drowning in the lows,” coach Raegan Pebley said. “You have to really just take every game for itself. Otherwise, you get emotionally and physically fatigued.
“We enjoyed that [Texas] game for what it was, and we went right back to work and did business as usually. I think following it up with a win was really, really special. How did you do it? It’s really just about continuing things and taking it one day at a time.”
As Jason Garrett is programmed to say, it’s a process. Pebley and her staff have faith that the plays they are calling and the personnel they are using will produce victories and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The Frogs (12-5) had been so close to a signature win, losing against nationally ranked Texas A&M after leading at halftime and losing fourth-quarter leads in the first game against West Virginia and again at Oklahoma.
TCU has won its past three games, a streak that started with a rout of Texas Tech, after an 0-3 start to conference play. Its currently in the middle of the pack in Big 12 play, three games behind undefeated Baylor. Seeing those late leads slip away wasn’t easy, but the Frogs stuck to the process and punched through.
“What happened last week is an accumulation,” Pebley said. “We have talked about when you’re this close, you either stop or your persevere and get over that hump. They’ve come in every day and continued to fight.”
After beating Texas and the West Virginia rematch, seeing is believing.
“There’s a difference between having faith in something sometimes when you can see it and then believing something because now you’ve seen it, you’ve experienced it, you’ve felt it and you know the difference,” Pebley said. “Something these last few games have given our team is [to] believe and they’ve validated their faith in what they’ve been working toward.”
Junior forward Amy Okonkwo, who leads the team in scoring (16.5 points per game) despite not making a single start this season, agreed that the Frogs needed to see the process produce the desired results.
Winning? Yeah, it feels good. Builds confidence, too.
“It meant a lot just because we prepared and worked so hard for those wins,” Okonkwo said. “People call them upsets, but we prepared for those wins. It just came together, and we were very collective and showed what we’re capable of. I don’t even think we’re at our best yet. That was just a little glimpse.”
TCU vs. Kansas
2 p.m., Saturday