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Irvin carries TCU past Temple

3/20/2004

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- TCU would not let its off-court distraction
affect how it played in the NCAA tournament.

Sandora Irvin scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and
Ebony Shaw added 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead TCU to a 70-57
win over Temple in the first round of the West Regional on
Saturday.

TCU coach Jeff Mittie coached the Lady Frogs a day after he was
reprimanded for his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving. Mittie
tearfully apologized for the arrest on Friday and must seek an
alcohol evaluation to determine whether he needs treatment.

"It felt good to get back on the court," said Mittie, his hand
covering most of his mouth.

The sixth-seeded Lady Frogs (25-6) will play No. 3 seed Georgia,
a 78-53 winner over Liberty, on Monday. TCU, which tied the school
record for wins in a season, has lost in the second round in each
of the last three seasons.

"It's not a distraction at all," Irvin said. "It's NCAA time.
We got together and said, 'We've got to win it for him."

Ari Moore scored 16 points, and Candice Dupree had 14 points and
nine rebounds for the 11th-seeded Owls (21-10). The Owls were
knocked out in the first round for the second time in three years
and have not won a tournament game since 1989.

"I vowed to our players that if we're ever in this situation
again we'll get out of the first round," Temple coach Dawn Staley
said. "We've got to keep fighting and building and keep working on
the little things. There is another level of basketball being
played. We've just got to keep getting the experience and the
exposure."

Temple came close to pulling off the upset on its home court,
leading 41-40 midway through the second half, before losing the
lead for good on consecutive baskets by Tiffany Evans and Irvin.

Temple forced 15 turnovers off its trapping, full-court press,
but TCU usually broke the press with long passes for easy layups,
outscoring Temple 40-26 in the paint.

Still, the Lady Frogs were outrebounded 41-36 and the press
never allowed them to fastbreak the way they wanted.

"We wanted the tempo much quicker," Mittie said. "We needed
the ball in transition. We just didn't rebound the ball well enough
to get into transition. That was the critical part of the whole
game."

Critical, but not fatal -- thanks to Irvin, who scored 13 points
in the second half.

"Sandora always plays well at the end of games," Shaw said.
"We just tried to get her the ball."

Temple pulled to 49-48 after a layup by Kamesha Hariston, but
TCU answered with an 11-4 run. The Lady Frogs finally pushed the
lead to double digits from the free-throw line. TCU made 18 of 23
free throws; Temple went 12-for-18.

"They were making free throws. That's where they really won the
game," Moore said. "It's not how you want to end your season."

The Lady Frogs shot 50 percent from the floor. Ebony went
6-for-10 and Irvin, the niece of former NFL star Michael Irvin, was
9-for-19.