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#21 TCU survives Arkansas comeback

#21 TCU survives Arkansas comeback

     FORT WORTH, Texas – Senior Shameka Christon had another double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore Ruby Vaden had a career high rebounding, but both finished the game on the bench as 21st-ranked Texas Christian survived a furious comeback by the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks, 67-62, in overtime.
     Arkansas, 4-2, trailed 33-19 at halftime after what was arguably the worst half of basketball of the season.
     TCU, 5-0, made its best start in school history despite the absence of all-America junior Sandora Irvin who was ill and unable to attend the game.
     “The difference in the game was the first half,” UA head coach Susie Gardner said. “Not the end of the second half, not the overtime. You can’t play without a lack of emotion and expect to win.”
     Despite a season-high tying 28 points, Christon had only two points in the opening seven minutes of the game.
     “The way we played in the first half was what cost us the game,” Christon said. “We made a great comeback, and we thought that it was going to turn our way.”
     Shooting only 21.2% in the first half and trailing by as many as 15, Arkansas roared back into the game with a 14-0 run that spanned the close of the first half and the opening of the second.
     Arkansas took the lead late in the game, but put up a single point in the last 7:03 of the contest.
     “I thought that we would pull it out when we got ahead,” Gardner said. “We were making stops and playing with some enthusiasm. But it was huge when Ruby fouled out.”
     Vaden departed with a double-double of 16 points with a career high 14 rebounds with just over a minute and a half left in the game.
     An opening flurry for TCU of 10-4 in the overtime put the Horned Frogs ahead 63-57 a minute and a half into the extra period.
     A 5-0 burst keyed by a three-pointer by April Seggebruch and a jumper by Christon cut the lead to one. TCU went scoreless for the next two minutes, but Christon fouled out while driving the baseline with 23 seconds to play.
     Arkansas had a pair of chances in the last seconds, but fouls and turnovers allowed the Frogs to ice the game at the line.
     After Arkansas opened the game so poorly from the field, the Horned Frogs returned the favor by missing its first nine shots of the second half and going over 7:50 total time without points.
     Meanwhile, Arkansas went on a combined 14-0 run – 4-0 at the end of the first plus 10-0 to start the second — to cut the Horned Frog lead to 33-29 with 16:17 left in the game.
     TCU snapped its scoreless start for the second with five straight to push back to a double-digit lead.
     But after missing its first 14 three-pointers, Arkansas sank three of its next four treys to cut the game back to a four-point spread, 43-39, with 10 minutes left.
     Then Christon scored the old-fashioned three-point play to make it one, 43-42.
     After a Tracy Wynn layup, Rochelle Vaughn stole a telegraphed pass from Natasha Lacy to bring it back to one, but was unable to complete her three-point play. On the ensuing inbound, Vaden gave Arkansas its first lead of the ball game with 8:41 to play.
     It opened a 10-2 run by Arkansas to take a 52-47 with 7:07 left, but Arkansas saw both Vaden and Christon pick up their fourth fouls in the next minute. Christon’s fourth sent Ashley Davis to the line to complete a three-point play and narrow the spread to 52-50 at 7:03.
     Neither team scored for almost three minutes before Adrainne Ross’ three gave TCU back the lead, 53-52, at 4:15. It proved the only field goal for either team for over five minutes as Vaughn had a single field goal to tie the game at 53-53 with 2:30.
     Vaden fouled out at the 1:39 mark, but TCU’s Amy Pack missed the free throw. It proved to be the final points of the game as neither team could make last second efforts.
     Arkansas opened the game stone cold, hitting only 17.6% for the first 10 minutes of the game. TCU used three straight three-pointers from Ebony Shaw in a 12-2 run to build a 19-6 lead early in the first half. The Lady’Backs went 4:35 without a point in this stretch.
     Christon turned up her offense to score eight straight for Arkansas, unfortunately she was the only Lady’Back generating scoring opportunities as the Lady Frogs.
     TCU maintained a double-digit lead most of the half, but both team’s offenses stalled for over three minutes before another Shaw three-pointer and a three-point by Natasha Lacy broke the spell for the Horned Frogs, and a 32-14 lead.
     A Vaden free throw at 2:16 snapped a 5:05 scoreless spell at the end of the period, but TCU went into halftime with a 33-19 lead.
     Shaw finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead TCU, while Ross came off the bench with 13. Wynn had 12 to round out the double digit scorers.

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