Lady Frogs Upset Charlotte in Semis, 78-65
March 8, 2003
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The TCU Lady Frogs knocked off the top-seeded Charlotte 49ers on Saturday afternoon at the Pyramid, 78-65. The victory, TCU's first over Charlotte in three tries, puts the Lady Frogs in the Conference USA Tournament against no. 2 seed Cincinnati. TCU is now 18-13, while Charlotte goes to 21-8. Sunday's championship game will be shown live on ESPN2 beginning at 1:00 p.m.
TCU started slowly, playing catch up with the 49ers until a basket by junior Tiffany Evans tied the game at 8-8, and a bucket by sophomore Niki Newton gave TCU the lead. Charlotte got as close as a single point at 14-13, but the Lady Frogs widened the margin after that. TCU went to the locker room with a 32-27 advantage.
The second half was much of the same as the Lady Frogs pushed the game open. With 9:43 to play in the contest senior Tricia Payne drained a three-pointer to become the no. 4 all-time scorer at TCU, surpassing Leah Garcia (1,151 points from 1995-98). In a two minute stretch from 2:42 to 0:30 left, TCU stretched its lead from six to 16 points, before Charlotte was able to the margin to its final distance of 13.
"It was a very tough contest and we knew we were going to get that coming into this game," said head coach Jeff Mittie. "We knew we were going to be challenged in the physical game and we were going to be challenged with our decision making. The difference in that game was that our decision-making was very good. We executed things today very well, particularly against the press."
Sophomore Sandora Irvin, who had to leave the game for several minutes in the first half due to a hard fall, had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. She also added six blocks. Evans posted 13 points and junior Ebony Shaw had 11.