TCU Daily Skiff Friday, February 20, 2004
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Lady Frogs to face C-USA powerhouses
The women’s basketball team faces its biggest test of the year.

By Brent Yarina

The Lady Frogs got the ball rolling for TCU basketball with a win at Charlotte on Sunday and then the men’s team carried that momentum into Tuesday night’s upset victory against No. 10 Louisville. Now, it’s the ladies’ turn again.

“It was a great week for TCU,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “We were on national TV on Sunday at Charlotte. Our men were on national TV Tuesday. Both of us got big wins. We just got to keep it rolling this weekend.”

That won’t be an easy task for the Lady Frogs, however.

Rolling into Daniel-Meyer Coliseum this weekend will be two Conference USA rivals starting with Marquette (18-6, 8-3 C-USA) today and No. 11 DePaul (22-2, 10-1 C-USA) Sunday afternoon.

It takes more than two quality conference opponents to get Mittie nervous about any game, even when a fourth consecutive C-USA title is on the line.

“Our program is used to playing in these types of games,” he said. “I look at this as a good opportunity. While it’s a huge challenge, this is an opportunity for us to make a statement to the (NCAA selection committee) and make a statement to all the other teams. You play all year to get to the point where you have a chance to win a conference championship. We’re down to three games and we have a chance at a conference championship. We’re just happy to be in this position.”

Mittie said if the offense continues to fire on all cylinders, there shouldn’t be too many worries for the remaining regular season schedule.

“Offensively we’re playing real well,” Mittie said of his team, which has scored in triple-digits the last two games. “In the last two weeks, this team has really grown up a lot. I think they’ve withstood some tough games, and I think we’re looking forward to the last three games.”

Junior forward Sandora Irvin said she is happy with the team’s recent performances and that the offense is ready to lead the Lady Frogs past this most recent obstacle.

“I’m real happy with how we’re playing right now,” Irvin said. “We played really well at Charlotte and scored 100 points. We don’t do that too often.”

She said if the team has any hopes of winning the regular season C-USA championship, now is the time they must bring their best to the court.

“If we want to win conference, it’s all up to these final three games against the top teams in our conference,” Irvin said. “We basically have to win out for any chance to win conference.”

Mittie said even though Marquette and DePaul run different defenses, a zone and man-to-man, respectively, he doesn’t think it will present any problems for his young team.

“They definitely have different styles,” Mittie said. “You would maybe worry about that early in the year because you haven’t been through all of it. But at this stage, we have seen everything we are going to see.”

Mittie has more important things to worry about than facing two different defenses, like facing DePaul’s center Khara Smith, who is averaging 23.4 points and 12.8 rebounds a game.

“Along with (Sandora), those are probably the best two centers in the conference,” he said. “It will be a great matchup.”
 
 
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