For the four freshmen who saw their first collegiate playing time in TCU women’s basketball’s 88-49 exhibition win over Texas Wesleyan on Sunday, there was a learning curve.
However, they might have held a slight advantage over the more veteran players.
It was good. It kind of feels like just a time out in between those quarters. I love it.
TCU women’s basketball coach Raegan Pebley on the NCAA switching from two 20-minute halves to four 10-minute quarters
Over the off-season, the NCAA moved women’s basketball to four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves. The change was no different for those who just completed four years of high school ball, which is played under a four-quarter system.
Sunday was the first trial run of the new format, which TCU coach Raegan Pebley said her team handled well.
“It was good,” she said. “It kind of feels like just a time out in between those quarters. I love it. I think it’s a faster-paced game.”
While the fans might enjoy less of a time hit to their daily schedule, the players said it felt like they were mentally in a longer game.
“I felt like with the 10-minute quarters it just seems like you have more game that you’re playing even though it’s the same amount of time,” senior guard Veja Hamilton said. “Breaking it up like that gives us more time to slow things down and catch our breath.”
The new format changes the number of fouls needed to reach the bonus to five each quarter, instead of earning a chance at 1-and-1 at seven fouls and a double-bonus at 10.
Four players finished with double-digit point totals, lead by senior guard Zahna Medley with 19.
Also, with under a minute in the fourth quarter, a timeout allows a team to advance the ball in certain situations, similar to the NBA.
Pebley utilized the warmup game to give her entire roster playing time, which resulted in a balanced offense. and the result was depth in offense.
Four players finished with double-digit point totals, led by senior guard Zahna Medley with 19. All but three of the 13 who played scored.
“Coach P believes that with this positionless offense that when we run, we can average four players in double figures at all times,” senior transfer Destynee Hives-McCray said. “As long as we trust the system and do what we practice and pursue the ball and knock down shots, I feel like we can have this consistently.”
Hives-McCray, an Arlington Martin alumnus, made a noticeable impact to the TCU roster in her first action as a Horned Frog, scoring 11 points and pulling down a team-high eight rebounds.
The graduate transfer came to TCU for her final year of eligibility after playing three seasons at SMU. Last season, she finished second on the Mustangs in scoring, averaging 9.9 points per game and posing double-digit scoring numbers 15 times.
“She’s definitely in a leadership role, having someone who has done it for four years and been the best player on a team definitely contributes to our team,” Hamilton. “It gives us a lot more to look forward to. We know that if we’re struggling we can talk to her about it and she helps us out.”