Lady Frogs Fall To Georgia In Second Round
March 22, 2004
By DAN GELSTON
PHILADELPHIA - Christi Thomas had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Jessica Pierce added 18 points to lead Georgia to an 85-71 victory Monday night over TCU night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The third-seeded Bulldogs (24-9) advanced to the round of 16 for the 14th time in 21 NCAA tournament appearances. Georgia will face Villanova or Purdue in the West Regional in Seattle.
TCU (25-7) was denied a shot at setting a school record for wins in a season and lost in the second round for the fourth straight year. Sandora Irvin led the sixth-seeded Lady Frogs with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Tiffany Evans had 22 points.
TCU's three previous second-round exits came on the home courts of Louisiana Tech, Duke and Connecticut.
The 6-foot-5 Thomas controlled the lane with a three-inch difference on tallest Lady Frog. She scored 10 early in the second half to help Georgia build a 19-point lead, though her aggressiveness inside caused an early exit.
Instead of dominating the rest of the game and helping the Bulldogs cruise to any easy win, Thomas picked up four quick fouls in the second half and fouled out with 9:26 left, changing the tempo for TCU.
With Thomas out, the Lady Frogs went on a 10-0 run, getting a basket and two free throws from Niki Newton and consecutive 3-pointers from Evans. Instead of slowing down the offense, the Bulldogs ran and forced the ball inside, taking some poor shots and committing a couple of turnovers.
Still, the Bulldogs shot 47 percent and controlled the pace with an
attacking, fast-breaking offense that led to 50 points in the paint. Georgia
forced 15 turnovers and pushed Irvin, the niece of former NFL star Michael
Irvin, out of her comfort zone inside and to the perimeter.
Irvin did shoot 7-for-14, but the Lady Frogs were never able to have a consistent presence in the lane.
Janese Hardrick and Sherill Baker scored 14 points apiece for the Bulldogs.
The Lady Frogs got as close as 77-68 after an Irvin 3-pointer with 2:18 remaining, but Georgia scored five straight points to seal the win.
Georgia's Andy Landers has 21 tournament appearances, the most by a coach without a national title.