TCU Claims Cook Children's Championship

Lady Frogs demolish crosstown rival Texas-Arlington 77-36

FORT WORTH, Texas (December 2, 2000)--The TCU Horned Frogs improved to 3-2 on the season with an easy 77-36 win over Texas-Arlington on Saturday night at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The victory gave TCU the title in the four-team Cook Children's TCU Hoops Invitational. The 36 points allowed by the Frogs tied for the third fewest scored by an opponent in school history.

"We have struggled offensively at the start of the season," TCU head coach Jeff Mittie said. "But the thing we have done is play well on defense. To have 21 steals in a game is phenomenal. That's just a great defensive job."

The Frogs went through a six-minute scoreless stretch in the latter part of the first half, which was finally broken at the 1:11 mark by freshman Catriece Webster on her first career hoop. As a result of the offensive struggles, TCU led by just seven at halftime, 26-19.

But the second half was all TCU, as the Frogs, who moved the ball much more efficiently, outscored the Lady Mavericks 51-17.

"You saw a totally different team in the second half," Mittie said. "We decided to quit worrying about struggling and seemed to get some good movement."

Forward Janice Thomas had the Frogs' first double-double of the season as she tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Ebony Shaw tied for the team lead in points with a career-high 13 on 6-of-11 shooting. Junior Kati Safaritova also notched 13 points and added eight rebounds.

TCU's defense limited its fifth straight opponent to a dismal shooting percentage as the Lady Mavericks shot just 30.4 percent from the floor. On the season, opposing teams are hitting at a 35.2 clip against the Lady Frogs.

Guard Tricia Payne was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after collecting 21 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists over the two games. Thomas, who had two-game totals of 16 points, 19 rebounds and four steals was also named to the all-tournament team. The other four players named to the elite list were: Texas-Arlington's Renee Wharekura, Georgia Southern's Sharon Mitchell and Danna Simpson and Texas-Pan American's Naima Williams.

With the win, TCU collected the tournament's first-place hardware and avenged last year's 73-67 loss to Arkansas State in the championship game. Earlier in the evening, Georgia Southern downed Texas-Pan American 77-58 in the consolation match.

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