Oklahoma Sooners

Three Thoughts on Oklahoma’s 77-76 Big 12 Quarterfinal Win Over TCU

Oklahoma Sooners

The second-seeded Sooners prevailed in emphatic fashion over the upset-minded, 10th-seeded TCU Horned Frogs Friday, with a 77-76 victory at Municipal Arena in Kansas City, Mo. That has the Crimson and Cream clad on to the Big 12 Tournament Semifinals, where they’ll face the winner of No. 6 seed Baylor and No. 3 seed Iowa State. Here’s three thoughts on what just happened.

Skylar Vann turns out to be heroic, after Aubrey Joens paves the way

When the Sooners went up by 11 in the third quarter, it appeared they were well on their way to an easy victory against the league’s worst team. The ‘Frogs had other ideas, and actually captured the lead on forward Lucy Ibeh’s jumper with four seconds to play. But Sooners guard Taylor Robertson trusted and flipped the rock into Vann, who converted the game-winner with 2.2 ticks to go. Meanwhile, just about before you could blink, the Sooners trailed a spirited Horned Frogs group by an 18-8 count. That was before Joens, the Sooner transfer guard from Iowa State, entered the game and provided a huge first half spark off the bench. In only nine minutes of first half action, Joens provided 13 points, three rebounds and a steal while hitting all four of her shots and all three from beyond the arc. And it was clearly huge.

Madi makes the start

Sooner Nation breathed a sigh of relief at tip off. That’s because forward Madi Williams, after a scary injury in the season finale at Oklahoma State, was still in the starting lineup. That’s obviously a boost from a sheer production standpoint, considering she’s averaging just shy of 16 points per game, to go along with 5.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest. And earlier this season, she became the first player in Oklahoma program history to eclipse 2,000 points, 850 boards and 300 dimes in her career. But the moral boost is almost just as important. In the end, while wearing the brace on her knee, she finished with six points, four assists and a steal.


Final farewell for Raegan Pebley

It obviously hasn’t been the kind of season Pebley and the Horned Frogs envisioned. After leading the program to the postseason in four of her first five seasons and having TCU in position for an NCAA Tournament berth in 2020, if not for its cancellation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team won only one Big 12 game in 18 tries during the 2022-23 regular season. They did manage to collect a second one with their 57-52 decision over Kansas in the opening round, making for a pair of victories over Sunflower State foes. But the buck stops here, as it turns out that proved to be Pebley’s last triumph on the bench. She finishes her career at TCU with a 141-138 record.

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