TCU Outlasts No. 12/11 DePaul in C-USA Tourney Semis
March 5, 2005
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The TCU Lady Frogs (22-9, 10-4 C-USA) advanced to their third Conference USA Tournament championship game in a row Saturday in Charlotte, N.C. TCU ended the No. 12/11 DePaul Blue Demons' (25-4, 13-1 C-USA) 14-game winning streak by upending the league's regular-season champs by an 87-77 score. TCU will face the winner of Louisville-Houston Sunday at 4 p.m. CST on ESPN 2.
Both teams came out firing on all cylinders in the first half. The largest lead for either team was six by the Lady Frogs at the 3:55 mark when JimAnne Baker canned a couple of free throws to make the score 43-37. DePaul answered with seven straight points over the next two minutes to take a one-point lead. The Blue Demons were up by the same margin at halftime, 46-45.
TCU finished the first half shooting 37.8 percent (14-of-37) and DePaul made 40 percent (12-of-30) of its shots. Twenty-five personal fouls were called and 36 free throws were attempted between the two schools. TCU made 12-of-14 (.857) at the line, while DePaul was 17-for-22 (.773).
The physical play continued in the second stanza and the Blue Demons eventually pushed their lead to seven, 54-47, with 17:49 to go after two charity tosses by Jenni Dant dropped. The Lady Frogs responded with an 8-0 run thanks in large part to a couple of threes by Sandora Irvin to regain the upper hand.
DePaul used a 10-3 scoring run to give itself a six-point lead, 64-58, at the 14:22 mark. Irvin canned another trey and got a layup to close the gap to one before Niki Newton's bucket with 12:23 remaining gave TCU a 65-64 advantage. DePaul's final lead was at the 10:22 mark when Khara Smith tossed in a layup to put the Blue Demons ahead 70-69.
TCU's defense forced DePaul into making just two of its final 10 field goal attempts in the last 10 minutes. The Lady Frogs made 5-of-12 during the same stretch and were 8-for-10 from the free-throw line during their 18-7 run to close out the game.
Irvin finished as the game's high scorer with 24 points and she grabbed 13 boards. She broke the school's single-season record for rebounds for the fourth season in a row in the process. Her season totals with TCU have been 294, 320, 366 and now 374.
Four other Lady Frogs reached double figures in scoring on the afternoon. Ashley Davis racked up 16, one shy of her career-high, and came away with five rebounds. Natasha Lacy tallied 14 points, four boards, five assists and four steals. Newton had 13 and five boards and Baker had 10 off the bench thanks to her 7-for-8 effort at the charity stripe.
DePaul saw four of its players reach double digits in the scoring column. Leading the pack was Dant with 22 followed by Smith with 19. Smith also had 11 rebounds to lead DePaul. Allie Quigley recorded 15 points and Jenna Rubino tossed in 14 and six boards.
TCU went 15-for-31 (.484) in the second half to finish the contest shooting 42.6 percent. DePaul made 10-of-24 (.417) in period No. 2. The Lady Frogs won the rebounding battle 42-36 despite being out-rebounded 24-19 in the first half.