Ross, second half offensive surge lifts Lady Frogs over Lake Truck Lines in exhibition contest
Nov. 5, 2006
FORT WORTH, Texas - A strong second half surge led by junior guard Adrianne Ross allowed the TCU Lady Frogs women's basketball team to overcome a two-point halftime deficit and earn a 76-70 win over Lake Truck All-Stars (WNBA), Sunday afternoon in exhibition competition.
Ross, a preseason All-MWC selection and All-America candidate, knocked down 14 points - including 13 in the second half - to lead four TCU players in double figures.
"The first half caught me off guard because I was feeling under the weather," Ross, a 5-8 guard from Hobbs, New Mexico said. "My team did a good job of picking me up at halftime and they encouraged me. Despite not feeling well, I pushed as hard as possible in the second half and my shots started to fall."
Trailing 34-32 at the intermission, Ross didn't waste time getting the Lady Frogs back in command in the second half. She scored six of the team's first eight points and after two made free throws at the 16:47 mark, TCU never gave up the lead.
The Lady Frogs shot an impressive 51.7 percent in the second half of the game with an offensive barrage consisting of 3-point baskets and short jumpers.
"We had better ball movement in the second half," eighth-year TCU head coach Jeff Mittie said. "In the first half we were trying too hard and wanted things to happen right away. In the second half, our offense started off great, we had better flow, and we had more of a unit looking to score than we did in the first half."
Four Lady Frogs hit for double figures with rookie Shayla Moore contributing four field goals from the beyond the arc and a free throw for 13 points (4-9). Junior Lorie Butler-Rayford (4-7) and senior Ashley Davis (4-9) checked in with 11 points each.
"My philosophy on the exhibition games is you always want to win them, but even more you want to get some answers," Mittie said. "We didn't pass this game with flying colors and we know we got a lot of work to do, but we got some answers on what we need to improve on."
By all means, the WNBA-littered Lake Truck All-Stars team entered the game as a legitimate exhibition squad with a respectable 3-3 record with wins over Houston, Rice and Duquesne.
"This is a team that was 3-3 coming in, so they've won some games and they've played some good competition," Mittie said. "I think that it's important to play somebody that you don't know exactly what they're going to do, to see how your team reacts to them. I thought in the first half, we didn't react well to those things. I thought as the game wore on you saw players get more comfortable running our team things, and I was pleased with that. We'll take a look at the film. We certainly have a lot of areas that we need to improve before we play Maryland in 12 days."
Butler-Rayford dominated the glass with nine rebounds, including seven on defense. Junior college transfer Helen Roden made her TCU debut with a start; she had eight points and four assists. Junior guard Moneka Knight contributed seven points and four assists and sophomore Marissa Rivera recorded eight points and five rebounds.
Rivera's teammates were pleased with her effort, especially in the second half.
"We see her every day in practice and she usually does (dominate) in spurts," Ross said. "So, we know she has great ability. She can create her own shot and that's what we need because it takes some pressure off the guards. I look forward to playing with her this season because we know what she can do."
According to Knight, the veterans were all happy with the newcomers performances.
"Shayla (Moore) came out and she was very confident and Helen (Roden) ran the team when we needed her. Brittany (Purdom) and Micaela (Younger) aren't really newcomers, but they haven't been in those types of situations and I think they tried their best to step up. They provided something that we needed when they were out there."
Former Clemson standout Tasha Phillips led the Lake Truck Lines squad with 26 points.
The Lady Frogs open their season Nov. 17 against defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Maryland at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md.