The first half was all the TCU women needed to build a lead that Stephen F. Austin couldn’t surmount in an 88-55 win Wednesday night at the University Recreation Center.
TCU shot 71.4 percent from the field in the first half, hitting 20 of 28 shots, making the fourth time the Horned Frogs have surpassed the 60 percent mark in a half under coach Raegan Pebley, but first time in the opening half.
The Frogs (7-2) finished the game shooting 61.5 percent from the field, a school record.
Freshman Jordan Moore was the recipient of much of the offensive flow through the first quarter, scoring eight of her 11 points.
Moore had a career-high 16 points in TCU’s previous game, a win over Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday.
“She’s learning a pace of play that just happens at Division I basketball that also happens within our system,” Pebley said. “She’s learning how to be efficient. We’re also learning how to adapt to her at times.”
The second half was sluggish for TCU, who allowed the Ladyjacks (4-5) to more than double their halftime score, scoring 21 in the third quarter after trailing 49-18 at halftime. They were aided by six TCU turnovers that resulted in nine points.
After shooting just 5 for 14 in the third, TCU rallied in the fourth to outscore SFA 22-16.
“I was not happy at the end of that [third] quarter,” Pebley said. “Felt like we played a bit better in the fourth quarter, but we had so much to gain back from just a mindset that we lost in that third quarter.”
TCU finished with five players in double figures, led by sophomore Toree Thompson with 14.
Zahna Medley, TCU’s leading scorer averaging 16.9 points per game entering Wednesday, had 11 on a night when several players had the hot hand.
“She’s not in the locker room right now stressing out that she only scored 11,” Pebley said. “She’s thinking about how her defense was and how her team performed. She’s been such a great leader for us.”
Senior Caitlin Diaz finished with a career-high 11 points to go with three rebounds in a game that utilized her defensive energy off the bench.
“Yeah, defense fuels our offense,” Diaz said. “If we play defense and just run through our offense, we try to find shots in there. Just run through it and don’t force anything and that’s what fueled us today.”
Travis L. Brown: email@example.com, @Travis_L_Brown.