Lady Frogs Close Gap With Late Run but Fall Short
EL PASO, Texas -- A valiant comeback effort by the road-weary TCU Lady Frogs fell short in a 79-76 loss to the UTEP Miners on Wednesday night. The loss dropped TCU to 19-6 overall and 11-2 in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Frogs led by as many as seven in the early going, taking an 18-11 lead at the 10:08 mark. However, the Miners battled strong and took the lead 23-22 with an 12-4 run over the next four minutes. UTEP (8-17, 4-10 WAC) upped its advantage to five in the final minutes of the first stanza, and took a 34-30 lead into intermission.
TCU shot just 29.0 percent from the field in the first half as the team connected on 9-of-31 attempts, including 1-of-7 from three-point range. The Frogs were able to stay in the ballgame by drilling 11-of-14 free throws (78.6 percent). The Frogs substituted much more frequently than usual in the first half, as 11 players saw action.
The Miners used a 7-0 run to take a a 10-point lead with 15:18 remaining and pushed the advantage to 19 at 60-41 with 9:35 left in the second half. However, TCU was able to trim the lead to single-digits (74-65) at the 4:09 mark and pulled to within one point, 77-76, with 1:11 remaining. Two free throws by Sonny Guild with six seconds left pushed the lead to three, and a pair of three-point attempts by TCU in the waning seconds bounced off the rim.
Amy Porter led the team with 21 points with a 9-for-9 effort from the line. She added seven rebounds and four assists. With 12 points and 13 rebounds, Janice Thomas recorded her seventh double-double of the season. Kati Safaritova added 10 points and five rebounds.
UTEP shot 41.5 percent from the field, while TCU managed only a 33.3-percent clip. The Miners were a solid 29-for-37 (78.4 percent) from the charity stripe for the game.
TCU finished 8-3 away from Fort Worth this season, with a 6-2 mark in conference play. TCU is now 0-5 when allowing 70 or more points this season.
The Frogs final three regular-season games are at home, beginning this weekend. Despite the loss, TCU remains in first place in the conference and has an opportunity to clinch a tie for the Western Athletic Conference regular season title when the team hosts second-place Hawai'i on Sunday, Feb. 25.