BYU squeaks by TCU, 69-65
Feb. 1, 2007
PROVO, Utah - TCU had four players score in double figures, led by Hanna Biernacka's 15 points, but it was not enough as BYU was able to sneak by TCU, 69-65, on Thursday at the Marriott Center.
TCU (15-7, 5-3 Mountain West Conference) trailed by as many as 15 points in the game, but used runs of 10-0 and 12-2 to pull within range of BYU (16-5, 7-1 MWC) after the Cougars had obtained double-digit leads in both the first and second halves.
TCU trailed 63-61 with 2:44 to play following a pair of free throws by Lorie Butler-Rayford before TCU went cold at the line and misfired on five of its final seven free throws in the final 2:21.
In comparison, BYU, who entered the game shooting just 60.1 percent from the free-throw line, made its first 12 attempts from the charity stripe and finished 14-of-18.
The Lady Frogs were able to cut the Cougars' lead to one (66-65) after Adrianne Ross made 1-of-2 free throws with 46 seconds to play, but a series of events kept TCU from having an opportunity to take its first lead since leading 11-10 with 12:53 to play in the first.
Following Ross' missed free throw, the Cougars ran the clock down to 17 seconds before Shawnee Slade misfired on a three-pointer that was rebounded by Moneka Knight, who tried to tip toe past defenders on the sideline, but was whistled for stepping out of bounds with 15 seconds to play and BYU leading 66-65.
BYU then made a pair of free throws and smartly fouled Helen Roden and sent her to the line for two free throws with TCU trailing by three. Roden misfired and both shots and the Cougars were able to snag the rebound and the game.
"We didn't play with as much energy tonight," head coach Jeff Mittie said. "We executed some things well and gave ourselves a chance to win it at the end, but we just didn't take advantage of some of the opportunities we had."
The loss was TCU's third in a row on the road and dropped TCU to 1-5 away from Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, where the Lady Frogs are a perfect 12-0 and have won 17 straight.
All five of TCU's road losses have come to teams that have a combined home record of 46-4. Both BYU and Wyoming are perfect at home, while Utah and Maryland has one home loss and Georgia has lost twice.
Individually, Biernacka led the team with 15 points and eight rebounds. Also reaching double figures was Ross with 13 points, and Knight and Butler-Rayford each chipped in with 10.
The 10 points for Knight tied a season high. TCU shot 37.7 percent from the field, while BYU made 41.8 percent of its tries.
BYU was led by Mallary Gillespie, who had 21 points, eight of which came at the line.
Trailing 55-43 in the second half, TCU went on a 12-2 run to cut BYU's margin to two points, 57-55, with 5:37 to play. Capping the run was a pair of three-pointers by Ashley Davis.
Both teams exchanged baskets in the early parts of the second half. TCU was able to cut the Cougars' lead to four on two separate occasions before BYU used an 8-1 run to extend its lead to 11, 51-40, with 10:43 to play.
Keeping TCU close at the start of the second half was Knight and Biernacka who combined to score TCU's first 12 points.
After BYU went on a 21-5 run that gave the Cougars their largest lead of the game, 31-16, TCU scored the final 10 points of the half to narrow, BYU's lead to five at the half, 33-28.
TCU was paced by Ross who finished with nine points in the first half. Shawnee Slade led BYU with 10 points at the break.
With just over 10 minutes to play in the first half and TCU clinging to a 11-10 lead, a bucket by BYU's Cassie King sparked an 18-3 run that gave the Cougars a 28-14 lead. The Cougars' run was briefly halted with a steal and a layup by Ross before, a three-pointer by BYU's Melinda Johnsen gave the Cougars' their largest lead of to that point, 31-16, with 3:48 to play in the frame.
Trailing 33-16, TCU went on a run of its own and scored the final 10 points of the half to cut the Cougars' lead to five, 33-28. TCU scored the final two points of the first half with 3.3 seconds to play when Ross sank two free throws after being fouled by Johnsen beyond the three-point line.
TCU returns to the hardwood on Saturday when the Lady Frogs travel to Las Vegas, Nev., to play UNLV at 9 p.m. CT.