The women’s basketball team won its second-round game in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament on Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
The Lady Frogs defeated the Boise State Broncos (24-8, 14-2 WAC) 85-56 and never trailed after first 15:55 mark in the first half.
TCU will face the Lady Red Raiders of Texas Tech (17-15, 4-12 Big 12) in round three of the women’s NIT. In its second round game, Texas Tech handily defeated Texas State 82-49. TCU and Texas Tech will play in Lubbock on Wednesday.
The Raiders are led by junior forward Dominic Seals who leads the team with season averages of 14.1 points a game and 8.5 rebounds a game.
Seals and sophomore forward Ashlee Roberson nearly outscored Texas State in the teams’ second-round matchup, with Seals scoring 24 and Roberson throwing in 22.
In the Lady Frogs’ game against the Broncos, senior forward Lorie Butler-Rayford led the way with 17 first-half points, helping ignite the Lady Frogs’ offense. She ended the game with 21 points and scored her 1,000th career point in the second half.
The Lady Frogs (22-11, 13-3 MWC) had three starters score in double figures and shot .438 from the field and .476 from three-point land, respectively. Butler-Rayford also grabbed 13 rebounds, seven of them offensive boards.
“I did not think that I was going to reach the mark in this game,” Butler-Rayford said. “I just wanted to make sure we got the win, but it just happened this way.”
Butler-Rayford got help from her teammate, senior guard Adrianne Ross. Ross had nine points on 3-7 shooting in the first half but came out firing in the second half, draining three of four three-pointers in the second, and ended the game with 22 points on 8-16 shooting.
“I think everyone was on their game tonight,” Ross said. “We know we have to take it one game at a time in this tournament, and we were completely focused on taking care of the Broncos and not getting caught thinking ahead about the next round.”
Senior guard Helen Roden also got in on the offensive action with good touch on her shot all night. She was 5-10 from the field and had 11 points and three assists in the game.
The Lady Broncos’ only lead of the game came in the first 3:30 when they were up 7-6. Following a media timeout, the Lady Frogs went on a 21-7 run and had a 27-12 advantage with 7:54 remaining in the first.
The Lady Frogs’ didn’t allow the Lady Broncos any field goals for more than nine minutes in the first half and outscored them 39-15 after the 16:00 mark. During this run, Butler-Rayford scored 15 of her 17 first half points.
“My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball,” Butler-Rayford said. “They were reading the defense and got me the ball where I was in a good position to score.”
The Lady Frogs offense was jump-started by their defense. TCU forced the Lady Broncos to commit 26 turnovers, which led to 24 points.
The Lady Frogs were also banging on the boards, grabbing 45 rebounds in the game. They had 19 offensive rebounds that went for 13 second-chance points.
“Balance is all important in the game,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “I thought we were active on the boards, and rebounding is always important when you go up against teams that you don’t play a lot during the season.”
Mittie said he was also pleased with his team’s defense on Boise State’s leading scorer, junior guard Tasha Harris, whose season average was 16.3 points per game. She scored 25 points but had a constant defensive hand in her face and was the only one of her teammates who shot consistently. The Broncos shot .438 from the field and were 2-8 from behind the arc in the first.
“They’ve got a great, aggressive point guard,” Mittie said. “I thought we did a great job of bunching her up and making it hard for her to set things up for her teammates.”
All 11 Lady Frogs played in the game, and only one did not score.