Lady Frogs Escape Pesky Pirates
March 6, 2003
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The TCU Lady Frogs fought through poor first-half shooting and a feisty East Carolina squad to pull out the 54-44 victory on Thursday night at The Pyramid. The win moves TCU's record to 16-13, while the Pirates finish the season at 12-17.
ECU held the lead through much of the first half, allowing only two ties and the Lady Frogs to lead only four times, including their 20-17 advantage at halftime. Neither team shot well to start the game as both squads hit less than 30% before the break. TCU hit only two three's in the first half, with senior Grace Gantt draining the initial one with 1:37 to play.
The TCU shooting improved in the second half as they hit nearly 43% (12-of-28) of their attempts. The Pirates were able to get to within two with 16:29 left, but could never get any closer. The Lady Frogs' largest lead came with 37 seconds to go when senior Candace Baldwin sunk a pair of free throws to make it 54-41. Tali Robich hit a three-pointer of her own to make the final score 54-44.
"We sure didn't show much tonight," said head coach Jeff Mittie. "We were out of sorts all night. Our offense was out of sync. I thought ECU was very physical with us and we didn't really handle it. We missed some early ones (baskets) early, then settled for shots instead of going for them."
Sophomore Sandora Irvin led TCU in scoring with 10 points, while seniors Tricia Payne and Baldwin each added eight. Junior Tiffany Evans pulled down nine boards. Baldwin had a season-high six assists.
Next up for the Lady Frogs is the no. 4 seed Tulane (19-8, 10-4 C-USA) on Friday, March 7 at 8:00 p.m. The Green Wave had a first-round bye. The winner of the TCU/Tulane game will meet the winner of the Charlotte/Marquette game at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in the day's second semifinal.