Season over for ECU women

Published 3:34 am Saturday, March 8, 2003

By Staff
From ECU wire reports
MEMPHIS -- TCU used a strong defensive effort and a big game from the bench to earn a trip to the Conference USA quarterfinals with a 54-44 victory over East Carolina. TCU, the fifth seed, improves to 16-13 while 12th seeded East Carolina, playing in its first-ever Conference USA Tournament game, finishes the year at 12-16.
TCU's Sandora Irvin provided the Horned Frogs 10 points in 25 minutes as a reserve. She also grabbed eight boards. Grace Gantt and Tricia Payne scored nine and eight points, respectively, off the TCU bench. In all, the TCU reserves accounted for 37 of the team's 54 points. Tali Robich led all scorers with 13 in a losing effort. Jennifer Jackson scored nine points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds for East Carolina.
The game proved to be a defensive struggle on both ends. East Carolina gained the first advantage, going up 8-2 with just over 14 minutes to play in the first half, but TCU rallied to finish the half with a 20-17 advantage. The Horned Frogs hit just 29 percent in the period, but held ECU to just seven field goals in the first 20 mintues.
The Horned Frogs shot well in the second half and continued to play aggressive on the defensive end. TCU made 12-of-28 field goals and limited the Pirates to a 31 percent shooting period.
However, East Carolina was able to keep the game within striking distance as the game neared conclusion.
The Horned Frogs upped their halftime lead to 10, but the Pirates rallied to trail by only five with 10 minutes to play. TCU stepped up its defensive pressure and held the Pirates to four baskets in the final 10 minutes.