TCU clamps down defensively to best Cincinnati in WNIT quarterfinals

TCU senior Amy Okonkwo went for a double-double in the Frogs’ victory over Cincinnati in a WNIT quarterfinal on March 31, 2019.
TCU senior Amy Okonkwo went for a double-double in the Frogs’ victory over Cincinnati in a WNIT quarterfinal on March 31, 2019. Gregg Ellman

Seniors Jordan Moore and Amy Okonkwo posted double-double performances and TCU shot 45 percent from the floor to defeat Cincinnati, 69-55, in the quarterfinals of the WNIT at Schollmaier Arena on Sunday.

“This is a team that going into the postseason could of pouted and could of got in their feelings, and instead they really locked into each other,” TCU head coach Raegan Pebley told “These seniors have led us with a focused sense of urgency and you can’t get this far without that.”

Okonkwo, who entered having scored 36 points in a road win at Arkansas, scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

“I just go out there and play hard no matter what game it is,” Okonkwo said. “I just try and show up for my team every single game.”

Moore added 16 points on 7 of 10 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds and four block.

The Frogs (24-10) move on to the WNIT semifinals for the second consecutive season where it will play either Arizona or Wyoming. The win also ups TCU’s home record to 17-3, improving on a mark which already stands as a school record. The Frogs have also reached 24 wins for just the fourth time in program history.

TCU led 38-31 at the half but saw that lead evaporate quickly when Cincy (24-11) went on a 13-3 run a little more than 3 minutes into the third to go up 44-41.

The Horned Frogs, though, played exceptional defense the rest of the way and used a 22-2 run to get the separation needed for the victory. That included holding Cincinnati without a field goal for 12 minutes over the third and fourth quarters.

“Our defense fueled our offense and I coached them really hard and they let me coach them hard,” Pebley said. “Everything we do is with focused effort and all that leads to them having trust in each other.”

Cincinnati’s Antoniette Miller had a game-high 25 points but was held in check in the fourth when TCU put the clamps down defensively, holding Cincinnati to just five points.

TCU awaits its WNIT semifinal matchup and will play the winner of Arizona and Wyoming. When asked about what the preference matchup is - Pebley responded, “One game at a time.”

TCU junior guard Desmond Bane was part of the Frogs' first NIT championship in 2017. He's been to Madison Square Garden, and is excited to return for this year's NIT semifinals.

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