TCU Opens Home Schedule with Saturday Exhibition

Nov. 7, 2008

FORT WORTH--The TCU women’s basketball team continues preparations for next Friday’s 2008-09 home season opener vs. No. 3/5 Maryland Saturday evening with a 5 p.m. exhibition contest against Oklahoma City University. Admission to the game is free to the public.

Saturday's game marks the first time the two teams have met in an exhibition contest since Jeff Mittie became TCU’s head coach for the 1999-2000 season, although the Lady Frogs and Stars have previously met twice in regular-season play. TCU, which was still a member of TAIAW (Texas Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) Division II, won, 68-63, in Oklahoma City back on Jan. 12, 1980, while the Stars took the following season’s matchup, 83-66, on Feb. 4, 1981 in Fort Worth.

Oklahoma City University, a member of the Sooner Athletic Conference, is one of the top programs in the NAIA Division I ranks, having won six national championships in school history.  Last season, the Stars recorded a 28-5 record while winning the SAC regular-season and tournament championships. The squad earned a No. 1 seed in the NAIA Division I Tournament, where it was eliminated by Harris-Stowe (Mo.) in first-round competition.

Four starters return from last season’s team, including two-time NAIA All-American Chelsea Ledbetter, a 5-8 guard. Ledbetter averaged 7.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game a season ago. Other returning starters include senior guard Lauren Duncan (9.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.1 apg), junior forward Breezy Martin (9.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.2 apg) and senior guard Erika Gaddies (5.2 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.7 apg).

A year ago TCU was able to field a versatile team that thrived because of its deep talent at the guard position. That squad relied heavily on a group of five seniors who were lost to graduation during the past offseason in Adrianne Ross, Lorie Butler-Rayford, Moneka Knight, Helen Roden and Jenna Lohse. Despite the losses, TCU appears primed to continue the program’s tradition of excellence by mixing in an infusion of new talent with the proven veteran presence left over from last season’s team.

Back on the floor in 2008-09 are five returning letterwinners, including starters Helena Sverrisdottir (the reigning MWC Freshman of the Year) and Micah Garoutte. Guards Emily Carter and Shayla Moore and forward Micaela Younger, this team’s lone senior, also return to try and help TCU earn its ninth straight postseason tournament appearance this season.

In addition to the returning talent, seven newcomers have be added to the mix. Among the new players are four transfers who bring high-level experience with them to campus. Guards TK LaFleur (Nebraska) and Eboni Mangum (Louisiana Tech) and forwadr Chantelle John (George Washington) each sat out last season while getting acclimated to the Frog program, while forward Rachel Rentcshler (Texas), a native of the DFW area, was granted a waiver by the NCAA in order to play this season without sitting out.

Three freshmen—forward Tolu Omotola and gaurds Amanda Sims and Antoinette Thompson—also will compete for playing time in their first seasons on campus.

The TCU women’s basketball team was picked to finish third in the Mountain West Conference this season in a preseason poll of the league’s coaches and media, the conference office announced Tuesday. It marked the fourth straight season that the Lady Frogs have been tabbed to finish among the conference’s top-three teams--every season since the program joined the MWC.

The Frogs received two first-place votes and 161 points overall to finish third behind defending conference champion Utah, which collected 206 points (16 first place-votes), and San Diego State, which claimed 184 points (six first-place votes). Rounding out the preseason vote were No. 4 New Mexico (148 points; two first-place votes), No. 5 BYU (117 points), No. 6 Wyoming (113 points), No. 7 UNLV (80 points), No. 8 Colorado State (44 points) and No. 9 Air Force (36 points).

In addition to the team prediction, TCU also had two individual preseason honorees in sophomore guard Helena Sverrisdottir and junior guard Eboni Mangum. Sverrisdottir was named to the Preseason All-MWC Team, while Mangum was voted as the Preseason Newcomer of the Year.

Much of TCU’s success over the past few years can be directly related to its ability to defend the home court. The Lady Frogs are 21-3 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in their three seasons in the MWC, which is tied for the lead among all MWC teams during the period.

TCU is 35-4 in its last 39 games overall held at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The squad’s 15-3 record at the DMC last season tied the 2006-07 squad for most home wins in school history.

TCU’s 15-1 home record in 2006-07 was good for a program-record 93.7 percent winning percentage. The Frogs won 14 straight games to open the season. Counting the 2005-06 campaign, TCU put together a 19-game home win streak, which was the sixth longest in the nation, prior to dropping a 61-50 decision to Wyoming on Feb. 22, 2007. The Lady Frogs own a 108-24 (.818) home record since Jeff Mittie’s arrival on campus prior to the 1999-200 season.

TCU is guaranteed to play at least 13 games this season against teams that reached the NCAA Tournament in 2007-08. Overall, 14 possible opponents on the schedule advanced to postseason play.

Included in the non-conference portion of the schedule is a three-game stretch against NCAA Tournament qualifiers—at Oklahoma State (Dec. 14), at Texas A&M (Dec. 21) and vs. SMU (Dec. 30). That streak extends to five contests in six games. The Frogs visit Fresno State Dec. 4 before tipping off the Contra Costa Times Classic, which will feature one of two matchups against Cal, which joined Fresno in the NCAA Tournament field a season ago.

Other NCAA qualifiers that TCU will face during non-conference action include Maryland and UT San Antonio—the season’s first two contests. The Frogs also have a matchup against a fellow WNIT qualifier in Boston College during one of two games at the Caribbean Challenge over the Thanksgiving holiday.
The start of the Mountain West Conference season will bring another set of NCAA Tournament qualifiers, as TCU will play Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico twice each during league action.

TCU is expected to set an all-time program high this season for games selected for television broadcast. Nine contests have already been selected to be televised: six on The Mountain West Sports Network (The Mtn.), two on CBS College Sports (CBS C) and one on ESPNU. That number will continue to grow at the 2009 Mountain West Conference Championships, which has each of its contests televised.

Six of TCU’s conference matchups will appear on television: Jan. 13 vs. BYU (The Mtn.); Jan. 25 at New Mexico (CBS C); Jan. 28 vs. San Diego State (The Mtn.); Feb. 10 vs. UNLV (The Mtn.); and March 7 vs. Utah (CBS C). Two non-conference home contests will be aired−the Nov. 14 season opener vs. No. 3/5 Maryland and the Dec. 30 cross-town showdown with Metroplex rival SMU. TCU will appear on ESPNU Dec. 21 when it tips off against preseason No. 12/11 Texas A&M.



  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago
Academics @TCUAASO
Baseball @TCU_Baseball
M Basketball @TCUBasketball
W Basketball @TCUWbasketball
Equestrian @TCUWEquestrian
Football @TCUFootball
M Golf @TCUMensGolf
Rifle @TCURifle
Swimming & Diving @TCUswimdive
Soccer @TCUSoccer
M Tennis @TCUMensTennis
W Tennis @TCUWomensTennis
Track & Field @TCUTrackField
Beach Volleyball @TCUBeachVB
Volleyball @TCUvolleyball