TCU Advances to C-USA Semis With Win Over USF
March 4, 2005
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The TCU Lady Frogs (21-9, 10-4 C-USA) recorded a 65-57 victory over the USF Bulls (20-10, 9-5 C-USA) Friday in the Pepsi Conference USA Tournament in Charlotte, N.C. With the win, TCU advanced to the semifinals where it will face the No. 1-seeded DePaul Blue Demons (25-3, 13-1 C-USA) Saturday at 1 p.m. CST. DePaul was a 78-55 winner over No. 9 Memphis in the quarterfinals.
The Lady Frogs jumped on the Bulls early, leading 11-4 after 5:33 had ticked off the clock. TCU extended its advantage to double digits, 22-12, with 9:43 to go in the half after Moneka Knight nailed a floater on a drive to the right side. She was fouled on the play as well by Rachael Sheats and coverted the free throw to give the Lady Frogs their largest lead of the period.
USF was able to make a comeback when TCU's Sandora Irvin picked up her second foul at the 9:22 mark. She recorded 11 points, four rebounds and two blocks before sitting the remainder of the first half. The Bulls trimmed the deficit to six a couple times before allowing the Lady Frogs to snag a 33-25 halftime lead.
With Irvin and Natasha Lacy, who was also hampered by foul trouble in the first half, back in the lineup TCU was able to build as much as a 14-point lead on several occasions. The last came with 10:20 showing on the scoreboard after a jumper by Lori Butler-Rayford made the score 51-37. USF answered with a 6-0 run over the next 2:03 to chop TCU's lead to 51-43.
The Lady Frogs' defense in the final eight minutes was too much for the Bulls to overcome. USF made only five of 15 shots from the field and TCU was able to make enough free throws to put the Bulls away for good.
Irvin finished as the game's high scorer with 18 points and she added 13 boards, seven blocked shots and three steals. It was her 19th double-double of the season and the 64th of her career. She is nine blocks away from breaking the NCAA's single-season record of 152 set in 2002-03 by Amie Williams from Jackson State. Irvin also needs six rebounds to break TCU's season mark of 366 that she established in 2003-04.
Lacy turned in a solid game with a dozen points, five rebounds and six assists. Butler-Rayford tallied six points and grabbed nine rebounds. Vanessa Clementino came off the bench and snared 10 boards while adding six points.
Jessica Dickson led the Bulls in scoring with 15 points. Anedra Gilmore was USF's other double digit scorer with 13 and she had five assists. Ezria Parsons was the squad's top rebounder with 10.
TCU shot 43.4 percent (23-of-53) for the contest compared to USF's 31 percent (22-of-71) mark. The Lady Frogs dominated the glass 53-32 and led 39-21 on defensive rebounds. TCU committed 27 turnovers and forced 14. The Bulls held a 20-6 advantage in points off turnovers.