TCU women’s basketball can’t hang on in Big 12-SEC Challenge versus Florida

TCU+plays+against+Florida+Gators+womens+basketball++in+the+Big+12%2FSEC+Challenge+at+Schollmaier+Arena+in+Fort+Worth%2C+Texas+on+Dec.+5%2C+2021.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+gofrogs.com%29

TCU plays against Florida Gators women’s basketball in the Big 12/SEC Challenge at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas on Dec. 5, 2021. (Photo courtesy of gofrogs.com)

By Sederick Oliver, Executive Editor, Image Magazine

In a game that saw guard Lauren Heard move into No. 3 all-time at TCU in career steals, TCU women’s basketball (3-4) was unable to steal the victory against the University of Florida (7-3).

The Frogs and Gators were neck-and-neck during the first half of play, with 15 lead changes and seven ties. The difference came when TCU got outscored by Florida 20-13 in the second quarter and never relinquished the lead.

Florida’s guard Lavender Briggs and forward Jordyn Merritt sparked the second-quarter surge, combining for 14 of the 20 points scored.

With 7:20 left to play, a driving layup scored by Heard cut the Gator’s lead to just four points. With the momentum of the game shifted, Briggs scored seven points in the fourth and had 22 on the night to keep a win out of reach for the Frogs.

Neither team was able to find a rhythm shooting the ball, as both converted around 38% from the field.

Additionally, TCU shot a season-low eight three-pointers in the game. It was the least amount of three-pointers TCU has taken since attempting just seven against Texas last season on March 7, 2021.

The Frogs also had trouble taking care of the ball, something they had led the Big 12 in last week. Their shooting struggles were exacerbated by a season-high 23 turnovers. The Frogs now rank fifth in turnovers in the Big 12.

“That [turning the ball] is uncharacteristic of us so for this season,” said coach Raegan Pebley. “We coughed it up way too many times. We played a little rushed, credit to their defense.”

The 63-54 loss marks the end of TCU’s three-game winning streak over SEC teams in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Frogs are now 3-2 in the Challenge.

Heard finished the game with 17 points, which pushed her over the 1,700 points mark in her career. She now has 1,705 career points, becoming just the fifth player in school history with at least 1,700 points.

TCU will now have a full week off and prepare to take on the No. 17 Texas A&M. Tip-off against the Aggies is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. inside Schollmaier Arena.