TCU Triumphs Over SMU, 71-63

Horned Frogs' 17th victory establishes school record

DALLAS, Texas (February 9, 2001) - The TCU Lady Frogs ended 10 years of frustration by frustrating the SMU Mustangs 71-63 in Dallas on Friday night. The victory was TCU's 17th this season and broke the school-record total achieved each of the past two seasons. The win also snapped a 19-game losing streak to SMU that dated back to January 3, 1991.

Junior Tricia Payne was dominating for the Frogs. She scored TCU's final 13 points and ended with a game-high 32 points. It was the second-highest total of her career, and the most points by a TCU player since Amy Porter scored 39 on January 21, 1999. She connected on 16-of-18 free throws on the evening, six of which came on three SMU technical fouls.

SMU opened up with an 8-2 lead over the first four-plus minutes of the game, but the Frogs battled back and took their first lead, 18-16, at the 11:17 mark of the first half on a layup by Payne.

Payne, who was able to work her way past the Mustangs defense and into the free-throw lane all night long, led the Frogs with 13 first-half points. Her two free throws in the final minute of the stanza gave the Frogs a 32-31 lead heading into intermission. TCU hit 39.4 percent of its first-half shots, but was just 1-for-9 from beyond the arc.

Payne came out strong to begin the second half as well, scoring the first six TCU points. Back-to-back three-pointers by junior Kati Safaritova and senior Jill Sutton boosted the Frogs' lead to 10 at 44-34 at the 13:40 mark. The bulge grew to 15 with 7:35 remaining when Janice Thomas canned a pair from the charity stripe.

SMU trimmed the lead to four at 67-63 with :44 left, but four consecutive Payne free throws accounted for the final margin. For TCU, Safaritova chipped in with 11 points, while senior Janice Thomas added eight points and 12 rebounds.

TCU, one of the top defense teams in the country, forced the Mustangs into 32.8 percent shooting. The Frogs also had an edge on the glass, outrebounding SMU 51-39.

The triumph extended TCU's winning streak to a school-best 10 games and pushed the front-running Frogs to 9-0 in the WAC. While TCU improved to 17-4, SMU dropped to 12-10 overall and 7-4 in conference. A crowd of 2,086, including an enthusiastic TCU throng, looked on.

The Frogs continue WAC play by hosting the Rice Owls at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on Monday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m. The game, originally scheduled for Sunday, is being televised on Fox Sports Net.



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