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Aja Holmes knocked down a 3-pointer with less than a second remaining to lift TCU to a 51-50 win over Texas Tech on Wednesday night in Fort Worth.
The Lady Raiders had a final chance with 0.4 seconds remaining, but Taylah Thomas' attempt off an inbound lob hung on the rim before rolling out.
"What a heartbreaking loss," Tech coach Krista Gerlich said. "I thought our kids really battled, and so did TCU. It was a great game, and there were some really big shots in some big moments. It was a really great defensive battle, but I really feel badly for our kids in that locker room because they're crushed. They are beating themselves up about the loss."
The Horned Frogs had a chaotic last possession, with Lauren Heard's pass to Yummy Morris in the paint deflected twice. The ball rolled to a wide-open Holmes in the corner, where she made her first 3-pointer of the night.
It was an appropriate end to a game that was tight throughout. Neither team led by more than six points. That designation went to the Lady Raiders, who were up 47-41 with 5:38 remaining.
The Horned Frogs closed with a late run, punctuated by Holmes' game-winner. Bryn Gerlich made 1 of 2 free throws to put Tech up 50-46 with 1:24 remaining, but the junior missed a pair that could've put the game away.
Morris hit a jumper with 1:08 left to cut the deficit to 50-48, and after two empty possessions, Gerlich went to the free-throw line with 14 seconds remaining. Gerlich missed both chances, and Morris corralled the rebound, which allowed the Horned Frogs to call timeout and draw up the final play.
It was a rough offensive outing for both squads, who came in eighth and ninth in the Big 12 in scoring. Tech shot 34.4%, while TCU was 37% from the field.
The Horned Frogs overcame 17 turnovers in the victory. The Lady Raiders lost despite winning the rebounding battle 38-34 and scoring 28 points in the paint.
Khadija Faye led Tech in that department, finishing with a game-high 18 points. Thomas posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, but no player shot well for Tech.
Vivian Gray, the team's leading scorer, notched eight points on 4-of-19 shooting. She led the Lady Raiders with six assists.
TCU senior forward Okako Adika had one of the rare good shooting nights, hitting 6 of 12 shots for a team-high 16 points. Morris and Holmes also each shot 50% to score eight points. Holmes was 1 of 3 from beyond the arc.
Heard was the conference's seventh-leading scorer entering the night and finished with 10 points on 4-of-18 shooting.
Tech's roster was depleted, with only eight players seeing action. Bre'Amber Scott, who has missed the past two games, did not travel with the team and will also miss Saturday's matchup at Kansas with an illness. Lexy Hightower, dubbed "day-to-day" by Coach Gerlich on Tuesday, did not play, either.
Chantae Embry is in COVID-19 protocol, according to the ESPN+ broadcast team.
With the result, the Lady Raiders haven't won consecutive games since beating Texas State and Lamar on Nov. 22 and Nov. 26, respectively. That was part of a five-game winning streak to open the season.
"We just need to pick ourselves back up and get ready for Kansas," Krista Gerlich said. "The Big 12 is no joke. This team is still learning how difficult it is to play in the Big 12, particularly on the road. We have to continue to show up to practice every day and be prepared, and really stay locked in. We have to start games better so we can set the tone and not trade baskets."
Tech (9-8 overall, 2-4 Big 12) will stay on the road, heading to face Kansas on Saturday. The Jayhawks (11-4, 2-3) fell to rival Kansas State on Wednesday.
TCU (6-8, 2-3) will host Texas on Saturday. The No. 15 Longhorns (13-3, 3-2) upset No. 7 Iowa State, 66-48, on the road Wednesday.
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Aja Holmes hits game-winning 3-pointer as TCU downs Lady Raiders