TCU Ready For Mountain West Conference Final Saturday

Helena Sverrisdottir (4)

Helena Sverrisdottir (4)

March 12, 2011


TCU (22-9) vs. Utah (17-16)


Las Vegas, Nev. • Thomas & Mack Center (18,500) • March 12 • 1 p.m. PT
TV: Versus (Final) • Talent: Ted Robinson (pxp), Blaine Fowler (analyst), Lindsay Soto (sidline)
Radio: KTCU (88.7 FM), • Talent: Jeff Williams (play-by-play), Jeff Lewis (analyst)
Internet ( Free Live Radio, Live Stats
TCU Head Coach: Jeff Mittie (Missouri Western, `89)
Record: 300-124 in 12 years at TCU (411-183 overall)
Assistants: Brian Ostermann (Wis. La Crosse, `88), Tonya Benton (Baylor, `99)
Tricia Davern (TCU, `02)

Horned Frog Quick Notes
• The Horned Frogs own two victories over teams ranked in the current AP Top 25: No. 21 Oklahoma and No. 22 Houston.

• TCU is the only school in the Mountain West Conference to win 11 games and post a top-3 finish each of the past six seasons.

• Senior Emily Carter has led TCU in scoring during 14 contests this season. She has scored over 20 points in 12 games and currently sits No. 31 in the NCAA in scoring and No 17 in the nation in free throw percentage.

Helena Sverrisdottir is now the only player in program history to amass 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a career.

• The Horned Frogs are 166-33 (.834) during the Jeff Mittie era when out-rebounding their opposition.

• TCU is 3-1 all-time in conference finals under Jeff Mittie, who just captured his 300th win at TCU.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - TCU will compete for its first ever Mountain West Conference Tournament Championship Saturday when it takes on No. 5 seeded Utah at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Start time is set for 1 p.m. PT and will be shown live on Versus.

The No. 2 seeded Horned Frogs, who are playing in the Mountain West Conference Tournament finals for the first time in program history, advanced to the championship by taking care of New Mexico Friday night, 61-40.

With the win, the Horned Frogs moved to 22-9 overall and won their fourth-straight game.

At stake Saturday is not only the team's first MWC tourney title, but also a spot in next week's NCAA Tournament. The Frogs will look to return to the Big Dance for the 10th time in 11 seasons.

The Last Time Out
Senior Helena Sverrisdottir scored a game-high 25 points as No. 2 TCU advanced to the finals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament for the first time in program history Friday night with a 61-40 decision over No. 7 New Mexico at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Sverrisdottir simply was unstoppable against the Lobos, scoring 13 of her 25 points in the second half. The senior, who moved into No. 2 all-time in TCU history in points scored Friday night, went 8-of-13 from the field. She also grabbed seven rebounds and chipped in with five assists.

The Horned Frogs, who posted the third-largest margin of victory in tournament history Friday, received solid contributions from several individuals in semifinal action. Micah Garoutte netted 10 points on five-of-seven shooting, while fellow senior Rachel Rentschler posted eight points and grabbed a game-high 10 boards.

A Quick Look Back At Semifinal Action
With its 61-40 victory over New Mexico Friday, the Horned Frogs posted several impressive numbers:

The First Time: TCU will not only play in a MWC Tournament final for the first time in program history Saturday, but also play in a conference tournament final for the first time since 2005.

The Fifth Times A Charm: TCU won for the first time in semifinal action in five tries Friday.

Rebounding It With Force: Despite conference leading rebounder Starr Crawford being out, the Frogs recorded 46 rebounds against the Lobos, which is a new semifinal record and the second-most in tournament history.

ICE Comes Through: Senior Helena Sverrisdottir moved into No. 2 all-time in career points with 1,738 points Friday night. Sverrisdottir, who celebrated her birthday Friday, also scored 20 + points for the ninth-time this season.

A Closer Look At The MWC Championships
TCU owns a 3-5 record in the Mountain West Conference Championships during its six seasons as a member of the league. The squad has reached the semifinals in the 2005-06, 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.

2005-06 (No. 4 seed): TCU won its first-round matchup with Wyoming (63-55) before falling in the quarterfinals to top-seeded BYU (53-63).

2006-07 (No. 4 seed): TCU was upset in the quarterfinals by No. 5 seed Utah, 68-67, on a running jumper in the lane by the Utes' Kalee Whipple with only 1.7 seconds remaining. The Frogs trailed by as many as 11 points during the second half before staging a late rally.

2007-08 (No. 2 seed): TCU won its opening matchup vs. No. 7 seed Air Force in the quarterfinals, 60-47, before dropping a tight semifinal contest to San Diego State (67-69).

2008-09 (No. 3 seed): TCU received a first-round bye before being upset by UNLV in the quarterfinals, 84-75.

2009-10 (No. 1 seed): TCU fell in the semifinals to No. 4 Utah, falling 69-57.

2010-11 (No. 2 seed): TCU dropped New Mexico Friday, 61-40, which is the third-largest margin of victory in tournament history.

Tournament Final Success
TCU is 3-1 all-time in conference tournament finals. The Frogs last played in a conference tournament final in 2005, winning Conference USA over Louisville, 60-41.

2001 (WAC Final): TCU dropped Hawai'i, 66-58, to claim the program's first conference tournament championship. Assistant coach Tricia Davern and director of operations Ebony Gilliam were both a part of the squad.

2003 (C-USA Final): TCU downed Cincinnati in overtime, 85-76. Director of operations Ebony Gilliam was a junior on the squad.

2004 (C-USA Final): TCU fell to Houston at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, 86-75.

2005 (C-USA Final): TCU upended Louisville, 60-41, to post its largest margin of victory in a championship final in program history.

The Utah Series
TCU and Utah will be meeting for the 19th time in program history Saturday. The Horned Frogs have won five out of the last six meetings, which has included a four overtime game in Salt Lake City last season. The series is currently tied at 9-9.

The Frogs won both regular season contests last season, but fell to the Utes at the Mountain West Conference Tournament, 69-57.

• The Horned Frogs swept Utah in the season series for a second-straight regular season this year.

Scouting Utah
Utah comes into Saturday's final with a 17-16 overall record after upsetting BYU, 50-49. The Utes, who are the No. 5 seed in the tournament, were led by Janita Badon who scored 16 points, while also grabbing six rebounds. Michelle Plouffe's jumper at the buzzer helped Utah advance to the finals for a third-straight year.

Iwalani Rodrigues has led the Ute attack this season with 14.8 points per game, while Plouffe is averaging 13.6 points per game and 7.2 boards.

In the tournament, Utah has defeated UNLV, Air Force and BYU.

The 2011 Series
• TCU shot 66.7 percent from the floor in the first half on Feb. 22, which is the highest percentage during a first half of play all season.

• The Purple and White were also unconscious from behind the arc on Feb. 22, going 8-of-15 for 53.3 percent. TCU shot 71.4 percent from deep during the first half alone on 5-of-7 shooting.

• The first meeting this season had eight ties and five lead changes. Emily Carter and Helena Sverrisdottir both scored in double-figures on Jan. 22.

Follow The Horned Frogs
TCU's Saturday's championship contest can be heard live on the radio throughout the Metroplex on 88.7 KTCU-FM with Jeff Williams and Jeff Lewis. A live stats feed is also available via Fans wishing to view gametracker may do so by clicking on the link on the right side of the schedule page.

Saturday's Championship matchup will be shown on Versus with Ted Robinson (pxp), Blaine Fowler (color) and Lindsay Soto (sideline) calling the contest.

TCU Represented Well On All-MWC Squad
Three TCU women's basketball players were among those who earned All-Mountain West Conference honors, the league office announced Monday. Senior's Helena Sverrisdottir and Emily Carter appeared on the All-MWC First Team, while sophomore forward Starr Crawford earned second team accolades.

• Sverrisdottir and Carter were each named first-team all-conference for a second-straight year, which is only the second time two Frogs earned such distinction in a single season.

• Crawford earned second-team accolades as well as all-defensive team honors, which is the second-straight season in which the Frogs have placed someone on the all-defensive squad.

• Sverrisdottir closed her MWC career, earning first team accolades three-straight years.

Where They Rank
This senior class currently ranks No. 5 all-time in wins for a class with 87 wins. The top-10 senior classes have all come during the Jeff Mittie era with the 2003-04 senior class leading the pack with 94 victories.

TCU Scoring Off Turnovers A Must
The Horned Frogs have won the points-off-turnovers battle 11 times against MWC opponents. TCU's record when it scores more points-off-turnovers then its opponent, 11-0. During all three conference losses, the Frogs haven't. Overall, TCU's only victories when loosing the points-off turnovers battle have been to San Diego State, UNLV and Utah.

• The three losses : UNM (7-15), AFA (19-21), BYU (7-15).

Taking Care Of The Rock
Senior Helena Sverrisdottir, the first team all-conference honoree, has been steady with the ball in her hands as of late. Not only has she only had 13 turnovers, but the Iceland native has tallied 45 assists. She has also scored in double-figures in eight out of the last nine contests, including a 25-point performance against New Mexico.

Coming On Strong
TCU has won eight out of its last nine games and the Horned Frogs once again had a successful February as TCU has now only lost five times during the month since 2007-08.

Overall, the Horned Frogs, who posted a 6-1 February record this season, have closed the season strong during the month of February, combining to go 24-5 since 2007-08. Last season alone, the Frogs only lost one contest during the month, recording a 6-1 record, including opening the month on a four-game winning streak.

Scoring In The Paint Important For TCU Success
The Frogs outscored New Mexico in the paint, 20-14, which now marks the eighth time in nine games in which TCU had dominated down low. During conference play, TCU outscored its opponent down low in 12 of the 16 contests.

The four games in which the Frogs were either tied with or outscored by their opponent in the paint were BYU (14-30), New Mexico (18-24), Air Force (24-24) and BYU (18-20). TCU's record during those contests, 1-3, with the first meeting with BYU being the lone victory.

Gross Helps Frogs Find Victory
Delisa Gross has now scored in double figures eight times this season. During those contests, TCU is 6-2 overall with its only losses coming at the hands of Fresno State and Texas A&M. During her two years on campus, the Horned Frogs are an impressive 11-2 when Gross scores in double figures.

Suffocating Defense
During the last 17 games, the Frogs have turned up their defensive pressure, which helped them run to a 14-3 record. During MWC play, opponents shot 40 percent or lower in 13 out of the 16 games, including 12 out of the last 15. SDSU (40.4), UNLV (41), UNM (41.7) and CSU (51.1) were the lone MWC foes to shoot over 40 percent, respectively.

TCU continued that trend in the semifinals against UNM, holding the Lobos to 23.7 percent.

Even more impressive is the fact that during the Horned Frogs last 14 outings, TCU has shut down the opposition from deep. The Frogs have forced conference foes to go a combined 91-of-311 (.292) from behind the arc.

Hitting The Glass With Authority
TCU is 10-1 on the year when out-rebounding its opposition. Overall, the Horned Frogs are 166-33 (.834) during the Jeff Mittie era when out-rebounding its opposition, including 21-4 the last two seasons alone.

Headlines To Look At
When TCU takes to the court Saturday, it will look to continue some impressive numbers. During the Jeff Mittie era, the Frogs are now 218-29 when leading at the half. TCU, who is 18-2 this season when leading at the half, is also 126-3 when leading by 10+ at the half.

Overall, when the Frogs score 80+ points in regulation, TCU is 77-1 under Mittie. The Frogs are also 166-9 when the opponent scores 60 or less, which has now happened 20 times this season.

Horned Frogs Continue To Impress In NCAA
Entering this week, the Frogs have done quite nicely among the nation's best. TCU ranks No. 27 nationally in free-throw percentage (.748), No. 39 in scoring margin (9.5), No. 91 in three-point field goals per game (6.1), No. 84 in three-point field goal percentage (33.8), No. 78 in scoring offense (68.4), No. 80 in scoring defense (58.9), No. 31 in Field Goal Percentage Defense (.361), No. 52 in Won-Lost Percentage (70.0), No. 79 in blocked shots (4.0), No. 63 in personal fouls per game (15.5), No. 76 in three-point field goal defense (.298), No. 49 in turnover margin (3.13), No. 46 in assist turnover ratio (0.92) and No. 28 in Turnovers Per Game (14.6).

Overall, the Frogs rank in the top 100 nationally in 14 different categories.

Individually, Emily Carter paces the Frogs', ranking No. 31 overall in scoring average with a 18.3 average. Fellow senior Helena Sverrisdottir is No. 94 in the nation in assists per game (4.3) and No. 72 in assist turnover ratio (1.61). Carter also sits No. 17 in free throw percentage (.877) and in the top-84 in 3-point field goals per game (2.1) and percentage (.363). Finally, sophomore Starr Crawford moved into No. 36 in rebounds per game (9.7).

TCU In The Mountain West Conference
After 31 games, the Horned Frogs sat No. 1 in free throw percentage (.747). The Frogs also rank in the top-2 in scoring offense (68.2), scoring margin (+9.9), field goal percentage defense (.357), turnover margin (+3.0) and defensive rebounds (26.3).

Individually, Emily Carter sits No. 2 in the conference in scoring average (17.7), while also ranking No. 2 in free throw percentage (.873). Helena Sverrisdottir currently sits No. 5 in scoring (15.9) in the conference. She also ranks No. 4 in steals (1.9) entering Saturday. Finally, sophomore Starr Crawford ranks No. 1 in rebounding (9.7) and offensive rebounds (3.4). She also sits No. 2 in defensive rebounds (6.3).



    Cook Children's Albertsons
    Pepsi American Airlines