Fort Worth, Texas Kansas University women’s basketball held the lead for much of the first three quarters before falling behind in the fourth, then nearly erasing a seven-point deficit to TCU with 40 seconds to play.
The Horned Frogs ultimately held off the Jayhawks to claim a 55-52 win on Monday night inside Schollmaier Arena.
Six straight points, capped by a three-point play from sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge brought the Jayhawks (5-24, 0-18 Big 12) to within a point with 25 seconds left.
After a pair of made free throws from TCU senior Zahna Medley, Aldridge earned yet another and-one opportunity, this time to bring the score level. Aldridge missed the free throw, and sophomore Chayla Cheadle missed pair of free throws, and TCU escaped with the victory in the regular-season finale.
"I thought we fought really hard, but we still didn't make any shots," KU coach Brandon Schneider said. "We had a lot of good looks close to the basket where we couldn't convert; anywhere from six inches to four feet, we couldn't convert. We missed three free throws to tie the game. But thinking about Jada Brown's offensive rebound and Chayla Cheadle's offensive rebound off of the free throw. You don't make those plays if you quit. They embarrassed us at our place, and I was disappointed in how we represented ourselves, but tonight was the exact opposite. We fought tooth and nail and, I thought, guarded the heck out of them. We just couldn't make enough shots or enough free throws to get over the hump."
Aldridge and freshman guard Kylee Kopatich led the Jayhawks with 10 points each.
Medley led the Horned Frogs (16-13, 8-10 Big 12) in scoring with a game-high 21 points. Medley shot just 4-of-12 from the field, but was perfect at the charity stripe, sinking all 10 of her attempts.
Senior forward Caitlin Diaz scored 14 points on 50 percent shooting and tied freshman center Jordan Moore for a team-high seven rebounds.
Both teams struggled to find a find a rhythm in the early going. Kansas grabbed a 6-2 lead with a three-pointer from junior forward Jada Brown at the 4:20 mark. TCU went nearly eight minutes between made field goals, and two free throws from Medley kept the Horned Frogs from being shut out during the same span.
TCU’s six first-quarter points marked its lowest output in the opening frame this season and the Jayhawks’ best defensive effort in the first 10 minutes, as well.
The Jayhawks and Horned Frogs now head to Oklahoma City, Okla., for the 2016 Big 12 Championship, beginning Friday. Kansas will be the 10th seed, while TCU will be seeded seventh.