Lady Frogs Upset No. 3 Terrapins, 80-68

TCU's Micha Garoutte, left, and TK LaFleur (12) celebrate.

TCU's Micha Garoutte, left, and TK LaFleur (12) celebrate.

Nov. 14, 2008

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - TK LaFleur scored 28 points and TCU upset No. 3 Maryland 80-68 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.

This certainly wasn't the kind of start Kristi Toliver, a preseason All-American, and the Terrapins wanted after last season when they were 33-4 and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years.

For TCU, it was a huge victory to start coach Jeff Mittie's 10th season, leading the entire game and matching the highest-ranked opponent the Lady Frogs have ever beaten. They defeated No. 3 Georgia four years ago.

LaFleur, who sat out last season after transferring from Nebraska, made 10 of 17 shots, including four 3-pointers. Helen Sverrisdottir added 18 points, Emily Carter 12 and Eboni Mangum 10.

Marissa Coleman led Maryland with 15 points, and freshman Lynetta Kizer had 12 points and 15 rebounds. Toliver finished with 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting.

The Lady Frogs scored the game's first 11 points. They then opened second half with a 9-0 run, ending any thoughts of a Maryland comeback.

Sure it was only one game, but there were a lot of problems in the opener for Maryland, a team depending on three sophomores and four freshmen to surround seniors Toliver and Coleman. The Terps shot only 34 percent (22-of-64) and had 17 turnovers.

The frustration was evident on Toliver's face, especially after she dribbled a ball off her foot early in the second half.

LaFleur made the opening shot 11 seconds into the game. She hit another basket a minute later, and the Cornhuskers led 11-0 after Micah Garutte's jumper with 17:14 left.

Maryland had turnovers on each of its first three possessions without getting off a shot. The Terrapins were 0-for-5 shooting with five turnovers, before Kizer made two free throws 3:11 into the game. Toliver and Coleman had two turnovers each in that early stretch.

Toliver's bounce pass to Drey Mingo in the closing minute of the first half cut it to 33-28. It was Toliver's third assist of the game and 584th of her career, one more than Debbie Lytle's school record set from 1980-83.

Rachel Rentschler had a putback of her own miss for TCU before Toliver missed a layup at the buzzer.

Like she did to start the game, LaFleur made two quick shots after halftime. Those were both 3-pointers, the second with 18:28 left putting the Lady Frogs up 44-28. Maryland never got closer than 10 after that, even when scoring eight straight points midway through the second half.

Before Mittie arrived, TCU had only four winning seasons and had never been to the NCAA tournaments. The Lady Frogs have since had nine consecutive winning seasons, including seven straight NCAA trips from 2001-07 before an NIT trip last year with five seniors.

This was the third time under Mittie that the Lady Frogs played at home against a top-three team. They lost by 40 points to No. 2 Duke in 2005 and by 22 to top-ranked Tennessee in 2000.

 

 


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