Trailing 44-21 at halftime and shooting 23.5 percent from the field in the first half, things couldn’t have gotten much worse for the TCU women’s basketball team.
After an emotional halftime in the Horned Frogs locker room, things couldn’t have gotten much better for TCU in the second half.
Trailing by as many as 24 points to Iowa State on Wednesday, TCU scored a school-record 65 points in the second half to complete a 86-84 comeback victory over Iowa State at the University Recreation Center.
For the second consecutive home game, junior Veja Hamilton was the offensive spark for TCU (9-4, 1-1 Big 12), scoring 16 points, all in the second half. Hamilton finished shooting 8-for-14 from the floor, which included going 8-for-9 through first 17 minutes of the second half.
“Honestly, I just came out angry and frustrated from the way we played in the first half,” Hamilton said. “I felt like our team could bring a lot more to the table, and I just wanted to give the team energy. When we get that chemistry going, it’s hard to compete with us.”
TCU notched up the pressure in the second half with a full-court trap defense that forced 16 Iowa State turnovers that resulted in 29 points for the Horned Frogs.
TCU trailed the Cyclones (10-3, 1-1) 82-77 with a minute left when senior guard Donielle Breaux took a Seanna Johnson elbow to the face that was ruled a flagrant foul after video review.
Breaux sank both free throws and took advantage of receiving the ball back by hitting a 3-pointer that tied the game at 82, marking the first time TCU did not trail.
A Chelsea Prince layup with 1.6 seconds left in the game gave TCU its first lead and then the victory was sealed when Prince deflected the inbounds pass to run off the clock.
“I knew [we won] when I hit the ball,” Prince said.
Between Hamilton’s initial spark and Prince’s game-winner was the offensive work of junior guard Zahna Medley, who finished with a team-high 21 points, going 11-for-13 at the free-throw line.
Medley said it was a never-quit mindset that resulted in a win from the largest halftime deficit in school history. The 23-point deficit surpassed the previous record of 16.
“In your mindset, you don’t think you’re down,” Medley said. “When you’re able to tie it, it’s anyone’s game. It’s 0-0. That’s what was going through everyone’s heads.”
TCU shot 60.5 percent from the field in the second half and 50 percent (7-of-14) from 3-point range, resulting in a win for the TCU record books.
“Well, you just don’t forget games like that,” coach Raegan Pebley said. “They don’t come around very often. We were down by 24 in the second half, and to come back from that, I am really proud of this team.”