Three-Pointers Lift Utah Past No. 23/25 TCU, 85-72
Dec. 11, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah
Sandora Irvin broke the No. 23/25 TCU Lady Frogs' all-time scoring record Saturday in Salt Lake City, but it was bittersweet in an 85-72 loss to the Utah Utes. Irvin surpassed Janice Dziuk's 1,448 by scoring 20 points in the contest, putting the senior at 1,451 for her career. Dziuk's record had stood since 1990.
The story of the afternoon was Utah (7-2)'s unbelievable shooting effort from behind the three-point line. In the first half, the Utes drained 8-of-11 (.727) and followed that up with a 7-for-10 (.700) showing in the second period to finish 15-of-21 (.714). Utah's 71.4 percent mark tied for the third highest percentage allowed in Lady Frog basketball history.
TCU (7-3) made its fair share of threes in the first period as well, going 7-for-12 (.583). Neither squad was able to take a commanding lead in the first half, with Utah grabbing the largest advantage at five, 21-16, with 10:42 to go. TCU answered with a 9-0 run over the next 3:21 that was capped by consecutive threes from redshirt freshman JimAnne Baker. Sophomore Natasha Lacy hit the initial trey that started the streak.
The Utes countered and eventually tied the contest back up at 30-all with 4:19 showing on the scoreboard. The Lady Frogs had no answer for Kim Smith and Lana Sitterud, who combined to go 5-for-6 from downtown in the first half. Still, TCU was able to grab a 38-37 lead heading into the intermission.
Sitterud gave TCU a bad omen in the opening minute of the second half when she canned a fade-away three from the right side with two defenders in her face just before the shot clock expired. TCU's last lead in the second half came with 18:02 after a jumper by Irvin put her squad up one, 43-42. Utah outscored TCU 14-4 over the ensuing 4:23 to lead 56-47.
The Lady Frogs did not go quietly, despite the nine-point deficit. TCU scored nine of the game's next 10 points to close the gap to one, 57-56, with 10:27 remaining. Smith ended the drought for Utah with a three. TCU was still only down two, 67-65, at the 4:17 mark, but Smith and Sitterud continued their three-point barrage and the Lady Frogs could only answer with twos. The Utes made nine of their 10 attempts from the free-throw line in the final minute and a half to put TCU away for good.
Irvin fell one rebound shy of a double-double, and she tallied three blocks and three steals as well. Junior transfer Vanessa Clementino had a solid outing for the Lady Frogs with a dozen points, four boards and a couple blocks. Baker came off the bench to net 11 points to tie her career-high. True freshman Lorie Butler-Rayford provided TCU with some valuable minutes off the bench in only her second game this season with eight points and two rebounds. The coaching staff decided to pull her redshirt a couple days before the Oklahoma game Dec. 9.
Irvin's three swats catapulted her into the top 10 on the NCAA's all-time career blocks list. She is currently tied for ninth with Denise Hogue from the College of Charleston with 359 rejections. Irvin needs 69 more to tie the NCAA record 428 put up by Cal State Fullerton's Genia Miller from 1987-91.
Sitterud led all scorers with 27 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field and a 4-for-4 effort from the line. She was a sizzling 7-for-8 on three-pointers. Smith was close behind with 25 points, and she collected six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and three steals. She also knocked down all five of her three-point tries. Ute Shona Thorburn nearly had a triple-double with 12 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.
For the game, TCU shot 42.6 percent (26-61) compared to Utah's 46.2 percent (24-52). Both teams finished with 35 rebounds, with TCU holding a 15-11 edge on the offensive glass and Utah leading 24-20 on the defensive side. The Lady Frogs held a significant advantage on points in the paint at 28-12.
The Lady Frogs will take next week off for final exams and return to action Dec. 19 at No. 9 Tennessee. Tip-off is set for 12:30 p.m. CST.