Lady Frogs open season with exhibition win
Nov. 1, 2007
FORT WORTH--The TCU women's basketball team jump-started its 2007-08 season Thursday evening with a 78-47 exhibition victory over the All-Stars at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The contest marked the second straight year the Lady Frogs opened up against the team of former collegiate standouts, formerly known as Lake Truck Lines.
Head Coach Jeff Mittie's squad appeared to be a bit rusty in its first game, as it shot 37.7 percent from the field against the All-Stars and only 27.3 percent from behind the arc, but there were plenty of positives for the Lady Frogs to take from the night. One was the impressive play by senior forward Lorie Butler-Rayford, who led TCU with 23 points and 12 rebounds. The Inglewood, Calif., native shot 8-of-15 from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line.
"I didn't even know I had that many points until I came out the last time," Butler-Rayford said. "I just played and had fun. I was fortunate that my teammates got me the ball.
"I'm starting to relax a little more. It's my senior year, so I really have nothing to lose. As far as my game went, rebounding and shooting well, that's just part of my game."
Butler-Rayford's point total easily surpassed her career high of 19 points set as a sophomore against Long Beach State, but the total will not count as such since coming in an exhibition. She also recorded a team-high four steals Thursday.
"I thought (Lorie) played well," Mittie said. "She's an improved player. I think our ability to move her to the perimeter helps. She's able to mix her game up, and she had a good night."
In addition to Butler-Rayford, senior guard Adrianne Ross fell just shy of double-digits in scoring with nine points, while junior forward Micaela Younger added eight points, including six during a one-minute stretch early in the second stanza.
While Butler-Rayford, Ross and Younger provided a veteran scoring touch for the Frogs, the squad also fielded several newcomers in uniform for the first time.
Freshman Helena Sverrisdottir, a 6-2 forward who is a former point guard for the Icelandic National Team, chipped in nine points and nine boards Thursday after earning the start at forward in her first game as a Lady Frog. Fellow freshman Micah Garoutte scored four points in only nine minutes of play.
The Lady Frogs took control of the game early with a 7-0 run to push out to a 16-9 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game. Butler-Rayford showed off an improved jump shot shaped during the off-season with a pair of early 3-pointers on three attempts in the first half. The 5-11 senior, who has never made more than one trey during a regular-season game, finished the first half with 14 points.
The Frogs took a 39-24 lead into halftime due mainly to stiff team defense and attacking the hoop on offense. The squad limited the All-Stars to only 27.3 percent shooting from the field in the first period, while they toed the line for 15 free throw attempts, making 11.
Despite its 33-point win, Mittie saw plenty his team needs to improve upon in order to compete at a high level in 2007-08.
"We do have a lot of offense in right now, and we're probably not as confident in it as we need to be," Mittie said. "It's good to get some answers here tonight, but I thought we were a step slow at both ends.
"There were glimpses of good things from players, but we weren't very consistent tonight. I think we have to be tougher and more aggressive. What's causing that is what I need to be able to find."
TCU returns to the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum Friday, Nov. 9, at 6:30 p.m. for its opening contest of the regular season vs. Radford, a first-round game of the WNIT. Tickets are still available for the matchup and can be purchased either in person at the Frog Athletic Ticket Office or by calling (817) 257-FROG.