FORT WORTH, Texas – The TCU women’s basketball team mounted a furious rally to overcome a 24-point second-half deficit in an 86-84 victory over Iowa State in Tuesday’s Big 12 Conference home opener at the University Recreation Center.
The Horned Frogs improved to 9-4 overall and 1-1 in Big 12 play, while the Cyclones dropped to 10-3 on the season and 1-1 in conference action.
TCU’s comeback saw the Horned Frogs set program records for largest halftime deficit in a victory (23) and the most points scored in a second half (65).
Senior forward Chelsea Prince capped the TCU rally, scoring the game-winning layup with 1.6 seconds remaining before stealing the ensuing inbounds pass to seal the comeback.
Four Frogs scored in double figures, led by junior guard Zahna Medley’s 21-point effort, which was highlighted by an 11-of-13 effort from the free-throw line.
Prince tallied 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals, while junior guard Veja Hamilton rattled off 16 second-half points off an 8-of-11 effort from the field in the final 20 minutes.
Senior guard Donielle Breaux added 14 points, including the
game-tying 3-pointer with 58.0 seconds remaining.
TCU was plagued by a slow start, getting its first bucket over six minutes into the contest. The Frogs would close the gap to 13 points late in the first half before the Cyclones rode an 11-0 run into the break for a 44-21 halftime advantage.
Trailing 60-40 with 12:00 minutes remaining, the Frogs turned up the defensive pressure and tallied seven straight points in just over a minute to cut the deficit to 13.
After a pair of Iowa State free-throws, Medley and Hamilton connected on back-to-back buckets before Medley drained her first 3-pointer of the night to trim the margin to just eight points at the 9:31 mark.
The Cyclones added four straight points on trips to the free-throw line before senior guard Natalie Ventress put the Frogs right back in the contest with a 3-pointer.
Hamilton then forced a steal and converted the layup and Medley followed on the next possession with another long-range bucket to pull within four points at 68-64 with 6:57 left to play.
The Frogs would get within one point, but the Cyclones pushed back out to a five-point lead with just 1:12 remaining.
Iowa State was whistled for a technical foul with 1:02 left, and Breaux converted both shots from the charity stripe before knocking down a 3-pointer on the same possession to knot the contest at 82 points apiece with 58.0 seconds remaining. Breaux also connected on the game-winning 3-pointer against the Cyclones in Ames last season.
The Frogs would take their first lead with 29 seconds left on a Prince layup, but the Cyclones answered with a pair of free-throws to set up one final TCU possession.
Medley ran down the clock before the Frogs slung the ball around the key, where Breaux found an open Prince for the layup with just 1.6 seconds left.
TCU’s defensive pressure caused chaos for the Cyclones, posting 29 points off of 16 turnovers in the final 20 minutes compared to just two Horned Frog miscues.
The Frogs shot a blazing 61 percent on 23 made field goals in the second half while connecting on seven 3-pointers on 14 attempts in the final 20 minutes.
Iowa State set a TCU opponent record with a 96 percent mark at the free-throw line, converting 25-of-26 attempts.
Brynn Williamson led the Cyclones with 24 points.
TCU remains home to play host to No. 16 Oklahoma State at 6 p.m., Saturday at the University Recreation Center. Tickets will be available on a walk-up basis at the ticket window prior to the start of the contest.