Women Down Spartak Moscow 84-59
Horned Frogs use second-half explosion to claim final exhibition contest
FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov.12)--The TCU Horned Frogs closed their exhibition season with an 84-59 triumph over Spartak Moscow on Sunday afternoon. The Russian squad proved to be a stiff challenge for the Frogs in the opening 20 minutes before the Frogs took control of the game and cruised in the second half.
TCU trailed 17-9 early on, struggling with eight turnovers in the opening eight minutes. However, TCU battled hard and took its first lead at 33-32 in the closing minute of the first half. As a team, the Frogs shot just 32.7 percent (12-for-37) for the half but held a three-point advantage, 37-34.
"I thought we were real sluggish coming out of the box," head coach Jeff Mittie said. "We worked our players hard this week. I told them (at halftime) that we had to get more points off our defense and get to the free throw line because our shooting was off. We were able to speed up the game and negate their size."
TCU came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, grabbing the first 16 points as the team marched out to a 53-34 lead. Amy Porter made the play of the game during the hot stretch, as she was knocked to the floor, kept her dribble, got back to her feet and passed the ball to her sister, Jill Sutton, who buried her second of five three-pointers. With a feisty defensive scheme, the Lady Frogs produced numerous turnovers in the opening minutes and did not allow a hoop until nearly five minutes had gone by.
For the contest, five Frogs notched double figures in points. Sutton topped the club with a game-high 18 points, while Kati Safaritova and Janice Thomas each added 12. Porter tallied 11 points and Tiffany Evans chipped in 10. Of those five players, only Porter started the game. Kim Walter and Karen Clayton hauled down nine rebounds apiece.
Turnovers plagued both teams throughout the afternoon, as the two squads combined for 60 miscues. TCU, who had 15 turnovers in the first half, closed with 25. Spartak Moscow recorded 35 in the contest, with 18 coming in the final 20 minutes. Of the 24 players who participated, all but two committed at least one turnover.
"We had 15 turnovers in the first half and it's hard to win with that," Sutton said. "It was a struggle all around, but our defense really picked up in the second half. We showed we still have a lot of room to grow."
The Lady Frogs tip off the regular season with a game against Yale
at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on Friday, November 24. The marquee contest on
the schedule is a visit to Fort Worth by the perennial power Tennessee
Lady Volunteers just three days later, on Monday, November 27.