TCU Women's Basketball Prevails at Houston, 63-55
Jan. 30, 2005
HOUSTON -- In a battle between two teams tied for the Conference USA lead coming into Sunday, the TCU Lady Frogs (15-6, 6-1) grinded out a 63-55 victory over the Houston Lady Cougars (14-5, 5-2) at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston. The win avenged three losses TCU suffered to Houston last season. Overall, it was only the Lady Frogs' second win at Houston in 18 tries. The other came Jan. 6, 2002, by a 61-49 score.
The contest was supposed to be a war in the post between All-America candidates Sandora Irvin from TCU and Sancho Lyttle of Houston. The first half was anything but that, as Lyttle committed her third foul of the period with 12:20 to go and Irvin did the same at the 9:28 mark. The two combined for just two points and six rebounds. Both players entered the game averaging over 20 points and nearly 13 rebounds per outing.
TCU relied on its three-point shooting to get through the first stanza with Irvin out of the lineup. The Lady Frogs went 7-of-9 from behind the arc and did not hit a two-point bucket until Irvin's layup early in the second half. Natasha Lacy made all but one of her four tries and Ashley Davis went a perfect 3-for-3. JimAnne Baker canned the other trey for TCU, which led 31-30 at halftime.
Irvin and Lyttle played a much bigger role in the second half for their respective teams. TCU's star player tallied 13 points during the half after going scoreless in the first 20 minutes. She also added eight boards to finish with a dozen and a double-double for the 59th time in her career.
Five UH shots were rejected by Irvin in the second half as well, moving the senior to within three of breaking the NCAA Division I career record. The current mark of 428 by Genia Miller from Cal State Fullerton has stood since 1991. Irvin is averaging 4.6 blocked shots per game this season.
Lyttle posted seven points and seven rebounds during the second period. She ended the game with nine and nine and added two blocks and two steals.
The Lady Frogs were trailing 48-45 with 10:56 to go after Daphne André converted a three-point play. TCU outscored UH 18-7 the remainder of the way. Irvin's three with 7:51 showing on the scoreboard capped a 9-0 Lady Frog run that put TCU up 54-48. Lyttle ended a 4:36 drought for Hosuton with a jumper in the lane that cut TCU's lead to 54-50 with 6:20 remaining. Afterwards, the Lady Cougars went 2-for-10 from the floor, with one of the makes being Kiemona Harris' easy lay-in just before the buzzer sounded.
In addition to Irvin, Vanessa Clementino had a double-double for the Lady Frogs with 10 points and 11 rebounds. It was the second of her career at TCU. Davis and Lorie Butler-Rayford finished in double figures with 11 each. Butler-Rayford made her first career start by replacing Lacy, who was coming off a badly sprained ankle she suffered in practice Tuesday. Butler-Rayford also went 9-for-10 at the free-throw line and had five rebounds.
Lacy's gutsy performance saw her finish with 11 points, five boards, six assists and three steals in 36 minutes. Less than 24 hours before tip-off, it was unclear if the sophomore point guard would even be able to play against Houston.
André was the game's leading scorer with 17 points off the bench for Houston. Joann Overstreet had 13 points and six boards running the point, and Harris finished with a double-double behind 11 points and 10 rebounds.
TCU shot 36.5 percent (19-of-52) for the game and UH was 29.7 percent (19-of-64). The Lady Frogs were also 8-of-16 (.500) on threes, while the Lady Cougars were a mere 4-for-19 (.211). TCU out-rebounded Houston 44-41 but was beaten on offensive rebounds 17-12.
The Lady Frogs return home for their next two C-USA match-ups. The first comes Feb. 5 against Memphis at 7 p.m. CST in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum and the second is Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. versus Saint Louis.