Lady Frogs Start Practice Saturday

Senior Candace Baldwin and the Lady Frogs open practice on Saturday.

Senior Candace Baldwin and the Lady Frogs open practice on Saturday.

Oct. 11, 2002

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The TCU women's basketball team, fresh off back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, will open practice on Sat., Oct. 12 with a pair of workouts. The first practice session is slated to begin at 9:00 a.m. and the second will get underway at 2:00 p.m. Both practices are open to the media.

The Lady Frogs have earned mention in a pair of preseason publications. TCU is ranked No. 19 in the nation in the All-Star Girls' Report and No. 24 according to Basketball News. In 2001-02, TCU posted a 24-7 overall record, and won the regular season conference crown in the school's first year in Conference USA. The Lady Frogs ended the year rated 25th in the country in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll after advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

This year, TCU will be led by sophomore Sandora Irvin. The 6-4 post averaged 10.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game as a freshman, and set school single-season records for rebounds and blocked shots. Two other starters from last year's squad, Ebony Shaw (8.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and Tiffany Evans (8.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg), are also back for TCU. The Lady Frogs lost a pair of starters, Kati Safaritova (13.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and Ashanti Nix (5.9 ppg, 3.4 apg), to graduation. However, senior guard Tricia Payne, the team's 2000-01 Most Valuable Player (11.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg), returns for her final campaign after sitting out the entire 2001-02 season due to a torn ACL.

Other letterwinners returning for TCU are guard Candace Baldwin (5.8 ppg, 2.5 apg), guard Ashley Browning (3.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg), forward Grace Gantt (8.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg) and forward Niki Newton (5.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg). The Lady Frogs also boast several highly-touted newcomers: forward Ashley Davis, center Stephanie Faulkner, guard Andrea Honer, guard Kim Ortega, forward Amy Pack, center Lindsey Prewitt and forward Tracy Wynn.

"We're ready to get underway," said head coach Jeff Mittie. "As a group, the returners ended last year hungry. This team has worked extremely hard in the off-season and is excited to get back on the floor."

The Lady Frogs open the exhibition season on Sun., Nov. 10 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum and begin the regular season against Utah on Fri., Nov. 22 at 5:15 p.m. as part of a TCU women's-men's doubleheader.



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