March 24, 2003
GAME: No. 9 Texas Christian (20-13) vs. No. 1 Connecticut (32-1).
REGIONAL: East, second round.
TIME: Tuesday, 9:15 p.m. EST.
SITE: Harry A. Gampel Pavilion; Storrs, Conn.
Connecticut looked more like the team that won 70 straight than the one that lost one in a row in its NCAA tournament opener.
The Huskies look for another strong performance and a spot in the round of 16 when they face No. 9 Texas Christian in the East Regional.
Connecticut easily rebounded from its first loss in nearly two years, beating Boston University 91-44 on Sunday in the opening round. The Huskies were coming off a 52-48 loss to Villanova in the Big East championship game, which snapped their winning streak at 70, the women's NCAA record.
But they looked sharp from the outset Sunday, racing to a 19-5 lead and shooting 57 percent for the game.
"The way we practiced last week carried over into the game," freshman Ann Strother said. "Hopefully, we'll keep carrying it."
The Huskies figure to be fine if Diana Taurasi continues to play well. After shooting 5-of-17 and missing all seven 3-point attempts in the Big East title game, the junior All-American bounced back to score 21 points and go 4-of-7 from behind the arc Sunday.
"When she is playing well then we all look good, and she played exceptionally well today," Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said.
UConn brings some impressive records into Tuesday's game. The Huskies are 10-2 in second-round games, 35-5 as a No. 1 seed and 19-0 at Gampel Pavilion as a No. 1 seed.
The Huskies are 23-2 in NCAA tournament games at Gampel and haven't lost there since the first round of the 1993 tournament, just before they had emerged as one of the powers of women's basketball.
TCU advanced to the second round for the third time with a 50-47 win over Michigan State on Sunday. Grace Gantt scored 15 points, including seven in the final eight minutes, and made 3-of-5 3-pointers.
To knock off the Huskies, the Lady Frogs will almost certainly have to play better offensively than they did Sunday. TCU shot only 32.1 percent and had 22 turnovers against nine assists.
The Lady Frogs also will need a big game from 6-foot-4 forward Sandora Irvin, their leading scorer and rebounder. She had only six points Sunday, but grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked five shots.
UConn and TCU have never met.
TEAM LEADERS: TCU - Irvin, 11.8 ppg and 9.7 rpg; Baldwin, 2.9 apg. Connecticut - Taurasi, 16.5 ppg and 4.7 apg; Barbara Turner, 6.2 rpg.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: TCU - Automatic bid, Conference USA tournament champion; beat No. 8 Michigan State 50-47, first round. Connecticut - At-large bid, Big East; beat No. 16 Boston University 91-44, first round.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: TCU - 3-2, 3 years. Connecticut - 42-11, 15