Senior forward Amy Okonkwo poured out a career-high 36 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to carry TCU past Arkansas 82-78 in the third round of the WNIT on Thursday at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
“I really believe this was an NCAA tournament game and environment and we really stress that you don’t rise to the occasion but you sink to your training,” TCU coach Raegan Pebley told gofrogs.com. “Had we not trained hard all year, we wouldn’t be able to handle this situation.”
With fellow senior Jordan Moore in foul trouble early and down five points at the half, Okonkwo took over TCU’s offense. Okonkwo finished 4 of 7 from 3-point range, including going 12 of 13 from the free throw line.
“She played inspired basketball and shot the right shots, and she played aggressive which set the tone for the other players on the team,” Pebley told gofrogs.com.
Moore’s restricted second half minutes allowed junior Adeola Akomolafe to find her rhythm in scoring 12 points with seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Lauren Heard scored 12 points and was 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
Redshirt sophomore Chelsea Dungee led the Razorbacks with 22 points of her own and Malica Monk added 18 points and six boards.
Arkansas shot 54 percent from the floor in the first half, but TCU kicked up its defense and held the Razorbacks to 35 percent the second half.
The Horned Frogs shot 23 of 25 from the line and dominated the boards, 45-31.
“I begged them to not let yesterday be the last practice that I coach them and that today be the last game I coach them … because I love these seniors,” Pebley told gofrogs.com. “They are beyond special.”
TCU’s postseason run continues back in Fort Worth for a quarterfinal matchup against Cincinnati at 1 p.m. Sunday.