TCU Women Clinch Tie For First-Ever Conference Title
Lady Frogs overcome second-place Hawaii 73-67
FORT WORTH, Texas (February 25, 2001)--The TCU Lady Frogs slipped past the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine by the final score of 73-67 to clinch at least a share of the program's first-ever conference championship. With the victory, TCU improved to 20-6 overall and 12-2 in the Western Athletic Conference.
TCU clicked offensively from the start and jumped out to a 16-9 lead at the 14:09 mark. Solid rebounding kept the Frogs in control of the game and the Frogs were able to push the advantage to as many as eight, 29-21, with six minutes remaining in the first half.
Kati Safaritova, who scored 26 points in a 72-66 victory over Hawai'i in January, started out hot for the Frogs, scoring eight of the team's first 10 points on 3-for-3 shooting. She scored 11 first-half points, which finished behind only Tricia Payne, who netted 12. As a result, TCU took a 37-32 lead into intermission.
With 14:16 left in the game, the Frogs led by 12 points, 48-36, but a 16-3 run by the Wahine put Hawai'i into the lead for the first time since the score was 5-2. At the 9:49 mark, a three-pointer by Crystal Lee, who had 32 points on the afternoon, made the score 52-51.
However, the Wahine went scoreless over the next 5:29, as TCU moved back on top 57-52. TCU sealed the game by connecting on 11-of-12 free throws over the final two minutes.
Payne led the team with 23 points and was followed by Safaritova (14) and Amy Porter (11). Payne tied with Tiffany Evans for the team lead with seven rebounds apiece.
TCU is now 12-3 at home this season and has 11 consecutive wins at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. In addition, the Frogs moved to 7-0 in afternoon contests and 16-1 when scoring at least 70 points.
The Frogs' final two regular-season games are also at Daniel-Meyer. TCU hosts San Jose State on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. and concludes its 2000-01 slate with a clash with crosstown rival SMU on Saturday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. The Frogs then will participate in the WAC Tournament will be held March 6-10 in Tulsa, Okla.