Horned Frogs Travel To Orlando For UCF Thanksgiving Classic

Chelsea Prince (4)

Nov. 22, 2011




TCU Horned Frogs (1-3, 0-0 Mountain West)
Head Coach: Jeff Mittie
Career Record: 412-188 (1-3 season)
School Record: 261-129 (13th Season)

Hartford (3-1, 0-0 America East)
Head coach: Jennifer Rizzotti
Career Record: 239-138 (3-1 season)

Location: Orlando, Fla. • Arena: UCF Arena or The Venue at UCF
Rankings: TCU - NR/NR • Hartford - NR/NR
Last Time Out: TCU lost to NC State, 79-85
Television: None
Television Talent: None
Live Video:  http://ucfathletics.com/allaccess
Live Audio: http://gofrogs.cstv.com/allaccess
Live Stats: GoFrogs.com (Gametracker)
Radio: KTCU (88.7 FM) Russell Scott (Play-By-Play)
Twitter Updates: http://twitter.com/TCUWbasketball
Series Record vs. Hartford:  First Meeting
Last Meeting vs. Hartford:  First Meeting

FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU will play Hartford Friday in the opening round of the UCF Thanksgiving Classic in Orlando, Fla. The Horned Frogs and Hawks will battle for the first time ever in program history, beginning at 11:00 a.m. CT from UCF Arena.

The Frogs will face a strong test against a Hartford squad that is a year removed from falling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament after winning the America East Conference Championship.  

The Opponent
Hartford comes into Friday’s post Thanksgiving contest with a 3-1 overall record after defeating Central Connecticut, 65-56, Tuesday night. In their previous outing before Tuesday, the Hawks fell to No. 2 Notre Dame, 98-43, in the semifinals of the 2011 Preseason WNIT. Following the tournament, Ruthanne Doherty, who leads the Hawks in scoring this year with a 15.3 points per game average, was named to the WNIT All-Tournament team.  On Tuesday, junior guard Alex Hall scored a game-high 19 points, leading three players in double figures against CCSU. Doherty also had a solid outing, scoring 16 points, while registering seven boards.  

The Series
When TCU takes on Hartford Friday, it will mark the first meeting between the two schools. The Horned Frogs have not faced either opponent this weekend in their 34 years.  

A Did You Know About The UCF Classic
The Horned Frogs will play in the UCF Classic over Thanksgiving for the second time in program history, having played three games in Orlando during the 1987-88 season. The Frogs went 2-1 in the late 80's with victories over Canisius and host UCF before falling in the final to Appalachian State. 

Ventress Carrying Frogs Early
Natalie Ventress has started to come into her own as of late, leading the Frogs in scoring in back-to-back games.  By doing so, the Fort Worth native became the first freshman to lead the Frogs in back-to-back games since former Frog great Helena Sverrisdottir did so during the 2007-08 season against BYU and San Diego State. Against NC State, Ventress had season-highs in points (21), field goals made (8), field goals attempted (19), blocks (3) and rebounds (6).

Tickling The Twine From Deep
After four games, the Frogs have connected on 33 triples, while hoisting 108 three-point attempts. In all, 108 of the Frogs' 235 shot attempts have been from deep, which means that the Frogs have chosen to shoot the three ball 46 percent of the time during the course of a game. Compare that number to a year ago and the Frogs were only 25-of-82 from deep after four games, but had 244 shot attempts, which means the Purple and White only chose to a shoot a three 34 percent of the time. Against NC State, TCU's 32 three-point attempts ranks No. 5 all-time in program history.

Some Impressive Freshmen Numbers
TCU has played a total of five freshmen this season and all of them have contributed in some form or fashion. Natalie Ventress became only the seventh freshmen in head coach Jeff Mittie's tenure  to start a season-opener, joining the likes of teammates Delisa Gross and Starr Crawford in 2009. Former Horned Frogs, Helena Sverrisdottir (2007), Shayla Moore (2006), Natasha Lacy (2003) and Sandora Irvin (2001) also started for Mittie in their first game in a Horned Frog uniform. 

By grabbing 12 boards at Georgia, Chelsea Prince became the first freshman to lead TCU in rebounds since teammate Briesha Wynn posted a 15 board outing against UT Arlington (Dec. 8, 2010) last winter. Prince's 12 boards were the most by a true freshman in a season-opener since Sandora Irvin began her career with 18 boards against Sam Houston State in 2001. In all, freshman have led TCU in rebounds in three of the Frogs' four contests this season.

Against UTSA, Jazz Parker led TCU in scoring with 14 points becoming the first freshman since teammate Star Crawford led the Frogs with 19 against Oklahoma on Nov. 21, 2009. Ventress followed, leading TCU in scoring against SMU (9) and NC State (21). The last time two different freshman led TCU in scoring in consecutive games was during the 2007-08 season when former Frogs' Micah Garoutte and Helena Sverrisdottir, scored 14 and 15 points, respectively, against BYU and San Diego State. 

A Block Party
Latricia Lovings posted four blocks in back-to-back-to-back games to open the year against the likes of Georgia, UTSA and SMU. By doing so, Lovings became the first Frog to block at least four shots in three-straight games since Sandora Irvin recorded 5 against Houston (1/30) and eight against Memphis (2/5) and Saint Louis (2/7), respectively, during the 2005 season. Lovings' four blocks are the most in a game by a current Frog since Delisa Gross' freshman season against San Diego State in 2009-10. Gross collected four blocks against the Aztecs.

Turning Up The Defense
TCU held UTSA to only 30 points, which is the fourth-fewest points scored by an opponent in school history. The Frogs also limited the Roadrunners to only 13.3 percent from the floor, which is the second lowest field goal percentage in school history by an opponent. 

In all, UTSA made only eight buckets the entire night, which is the lowest in a game since Texas Southern collected only six in 2002. Last Thursday, the Frogs held SMU to only 47 points on 15-of-61 shooting. 

During the last two years, the Frogs have held seven different opponents under 16 shots made in a single-game. TCU is now 28-3 the last three seasons when holding an opponent under 60 points and 167-11 during Jeff Mittie's TCU career. 

Thompson Has Career Night
Senior Antoinette Thompson has not been called upon to shoot during her four-year career in Fort Worth, but that all changed against Georgia. The lone senior on the squad had a dazzling performance and a career-night, setting new career-highs in points (23), field goals (9), field goal attempts (14), three-pointers (4) and three-pointers attempted (6).

Bombing Away From Deep
TCU and Georgia combined to make 24 three-pointers in the season opener. The Horned Frogs, who only trailed by nine with 5 minutes left to go in the contest, nailed 11 triples, including seven in the first half. When it was all said and done, the Frogs hoisted the seventh-most three-point attempts (29) in a single-game in school history, while ripping the nets for the sixth-most triples made (11) in a single-game, which has now happened twice this season as the Frogs recorded 11 against NC State this past Sunday.

Follow The Frogs
Fans not able to attend the UCF Classic can follow the games live on TCU's website via Gametracker and radio. To access any of the above, go to the women's basketball schedule page and click on the respective links located on the right-hand side of the page. 

Horned Frogs Picked To Win MWC
TCU was tabbed as the preseason favorite after finishing second in the Mountain West last season and earning an at-large bid to the Women's National Invitational Tournament. The Horned Frogs received 12 first-place votes and 136 total points. 

San Diego State collected seven first-place votes and was picked to finish second with 127 points, while third-place Colorado State garnered the remaining first-place vote and 106 points. New Mexico (74 points) placed fourth, followed by UNLV and Wyoming in a tie for fifth (65 points each), Air Force in seventh (42 points) and newcomer Boise State in eighth (39 points).

Last Time Out
In a game that saw 14 lead changes and nine ties, TCU battled to the very end Sunday, ultimately falling to NC State at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, 85-79.

The feisty Horned Frogs made the Wolfpack work all day Sunday, diving on the floor for loose balls in the second half and clamping down on a NC State squad that was picked to finish in the upper-half of the ACC this season. The Frogs finished the game going 11-of-32 from deep, marking the second time this season they have recorded 11 made triples during a game, which is one short of the DMC record of 12 set last season against Oral Roberts.

When it was all said and done, the Purple and White, who shot 41.9 percent from the floor Sunday, couldn't catch a break down the stretch after leading by as many as four over NC State in the second half. The Wolfpack capitalized on some key free throws late to escape Daniel-Meyer Coliseum with a tough six-point victory. The Frogs had four players score in double-figures Sunday afternoon, including freshman Natalie Ventress who posted a game and season-high 21 points on 8-of-19 from the field, marking the second-straight game in which the freshman has led the Horned Frogs in scoring.

Up Next
TCU will travel to Houston to open the month of December on Thursday, Dec. 1, following play in Orlando this weekend. 



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