Lady Frogs Roll Past Pirates, 66-41
Feb. 20, 2005
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The TCU Lady Frogs (19-8, 10-3 C-USA) secured a first-round bye in the Conference USA Tournament by defeating the East Carolina Pirates (10-16, 6-7 C-USA) by a 66-41 score Sunday in Fort Worth, Texas. The Purple and White improved to 5-0 all-time against East Carolina with the win. TCU is 11-1 at home in 2004-05 and 6-0 in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum when playing a conference game.
TCU had a one-point lead, 8-7, with four and a half minutes gone off the clock before going on a 15-4 run to lead 23-11 with 6:35 remaining in the first half. ECU's Nicole Davis got a layup 1:24 later to cut the TCU advantage to 10, 25-15. The Lady Frogs used a 10-2 scoring spurt over the last five minutes to take a 35-17 lead at the intermission. Seven of the 10 points were scored by Sandora Irvin, who finished with 11 in the first 20 minutes.
East Carolina could not get things going in the second half and went down by 20 for the first time after a Niki Newton layup with 17:47 remaining in the game made the score 41-21. The largest disparity came at the 2:53 mark when Irvin got an easy layup to put TCU up 64-36.
Irvin was the game's high scorer with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting and a 5-for-5 effort from the free-throw line. She also pulled down nine rebounds, assisted on four baskets, blocked three shots and came up with four steals while committing no turnovers in 26 minutes of action. Vanessa Clementino was TCU's other double digit scorer with 11 off the bench. Newton finished with nine points and five rebounds, while Lorie Butler-Rayford had eight points, four boards and three steals.
East Carolina was led in scoring by Jennifer Jackson, who had 11 points. Jackson also snagged six rebounds. Samantha Pankey was the Pirates' top rebounder with seven.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well, as TCU went 24-of-63 (.381) and ECU was 13-of-46 (.283). The Lady Frogs had a 47-32 edge on the glass and out-rebounded the Pirates 17-8 on offensive boards, which resulted in a 21-4 TCU advantage in second chance points. TCU forced 21 turnovers and committed 15, however, the Lady Frogs outscored East Carolina 27-8 in converting those opportunities into points.
TCU will earn a two, three or four seed for the league tournament, which takes place over March 3-6 in Charlotte, N.C., depending on what happens next week in conference play. DePaul won the regular-season championship earlier in the day with a 95-59 thumping of Memphis, moving its record to 12-1 in C-USA. Louisville can earn the No. 2 seed with a victory over Cincinnati Friday, Feb. 25. If the Cardinals prevail, the winner of TCU-Houston will be seeded third and the loser fourth. TCU hosts the Lady Cougars Sunday, Feb. 27, at noon CST.
Before taking on Houston, TCU squares off with NCAA Division II power North Dakota State Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The Bison are undefeated on the season with a 24-0 record.