TCU Holds Off Santa Clara 76-66
Jan. 3, 2002
FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU completed its nine-game homestand with an impressive 8-1 record after defeating the Santa Clara Broncos 76-66 on Thursday night at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The Lady Frogs finished their nonconference slate with a 10-3 mark, which ties the 1997-98 squad for the best 13-game start in school annals.
"I think what 10 wins at this point tells you is that we have won some pretty good games," head coach Jeff Mittie said. "We've played pretty solid basketball considering the fact that we've played a lot of good teams that play different styles. I think our nonconference scheduled has prepared us well for Conference USA."
The Lady Frogs jumped out to an 18-point lead at halftime (41-23) against Santa Clara (10-3), who had previously beaten two ranked teams and owned a national RPI ranking of 27th. The Frogs dominated the opening stanza, and led by as many as 24 at the 1:55 mark of the first half. TCU, who scored 16 points in the paint, shot nearly 50 percent from the floor (16-of-34) and had an eight-rebound advantage in the half.
However, the Broncos charged back after intermission, cutting the deficit to single digits (46-37) less than five minutes in. Santa Clara got as close as five (71-66) with 2:41 left to play, but the Frogs' defense stepped up and held the Broncos scoreless for the final 2:13 of the contest.
Santa Clara wound up with a 39-38 advantage on the boards, becoming just the third team to outrebound the Frogs this season. TCU forced 27 turnovers on the evening and limited the Broncos to just 4-of-17 (.235) from behind the three-point line.
Kati Safaritova (14) led the team in scoring for the fourth time in five games. She was joined in double figures by Grace Gantt (13), Sandora Irvin (12) and Ebony Shaw (11). Irvin narrowly missed her eighth double-double of the season with nine rebounds.
The Lady Frogs have now finished their nonconference portion of the schedule. The team begins its first season in Conference USA with a road game against Houston on Sun., Jan. 6, at 2:00 p.m.