TCU's big free-throw advantage helps in win over OU

Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale encourages her team during the Sooners' game against TCU on Saturday at the Big 12 tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. 

Kyle Phillips / The Transcript

OKLAHOMA CITY — TCU had a heavy advantage at the foul line, and not just because Oklahoma committed several intentional fouls to extend the fourth quarter.

TCU made 32 of 39 free throws in its 90-83 win over Oklahoma at the Big 12 tournament Saturday, including 23 of 31 in the second half.

“Second-half free throws were big, and I think the number is elevated because they started fouling us early,” TCU coach Raegan Pebley said. “But in the first half they got to the foul line a lot more than we did.”

OU coach Sherri Coale saw fouling as a problem rooted in the Sooners’ defensive effort, which was to halt TCU from long distance after it made nine first-half 3s.

“We fouled too much obviously,” Coale said. “Running at shooters, so then they put the ball on the floor and drive in, and help guys foul. Look at that — 39 free throws?”

• Who’s possession anyway: TCU’s bench became livid in the third quarter when there appeared to be no change of the possession arrow after a tied-up ball.

It happened once, then it happened again in a matter of minutes.

“Three times,” TCU’s Pebley said, before explaining that officials actually got it right. “It’s a crumby rule, but. … Whether it’s a player-control foul, offensive or defensive foul, [if it’s] prior to the ball getting inbounded, the possession arrow stays with that team. So that had happened multiple times, and that’s why the possession arrow never changed over.”

• Respect: In the postgame handshake line, Coale embraced TCU assistant Britney Brown, a Norman North product who played for Coale and graduated from OU in 2007.

Pebley graduated from Colorado in 1997 and played in college against Coale’s teams. The two serve on the Kay Yow Cancer Fund board together.

Pebley said OU’s program is one she “respects the heck out of,” and that it meant something to steal a win from the Sooners in OKC, especially with OU fighting to get off the NCAA tournament bubble.

The Frogs are also fighting to get in the field.

“We were able to get a win against that high quality of an RPI team [No. 29] and against a team where, you look at their last 10 games, what they’ve been able to do,” Pebley said.

• Sped up: OU center Vionise Pierre-Louis has fouled out of five games this season. While it's always a challenge for the Sooners to lose their leading scorer, but they didn't use it an excuse. 

"Vivi is a big part of our offense, but I feel like we're all capable of scoring," OU's Ana Llanusa said. "When [she] comes out, I feel like we get a little sped up, maybe. But I feel like we're all capable of scoring and I think we just didn't really finish today." 

• Tip-ins: Gabbi Ortiz struggled breaking a recent slump, scoring five points. She is 1 for 12 her last two games. … Manning’s 24 points marked a career-high in the Big 12 tournament. … OU and TCU’s 173 combined points is tied for third-most in a Big 12 tourney game. 


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