Horned Frogs wait for Jacks in Lubbock

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

In its first trip to the NCAA women’s tournament, the SDSU women drew a No. 7 seed and a tough Texas Christian University team.

Not only do the Jacks have to face a TCU team that beat Maryland, the No. 1 seed in the Raleigh Region and a team the Jacks lost to, they have to do it in Texas. SDSU will be the only team not from the state of Texas to be playing in the Lubbock Pod of the tournament.

“From this point on, we believe no matter who we play, when we play and where we play, we have a team and a group of players that can find a way to win,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said.

TCU had some similar opponents to the Jacks this year, going 1-1 against Utah and 1-0 against Maryland. Unlike the Jacks, the Horned Frogs are entering the tournament following a loss in the conference tournament; TCU was beat by UNLV in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament.

The Jacks are riding a 17-game winning streak into their first-round match-up with TCU, but the Horned Frogs are playing good basketball lately, as well, winning 7-of-10 down the stretch.

While the Jacks may be playing better down the stretch, one thing TCU has over SDSU is experience. The Horned Frogs have made the tournament in eight of the last nine years, advancing to the second round in five of those years, while the Jacks are making their first-ever Division I basketball tournament in their first year of eligibility.

If the Summit League Tournament was any indication of the way things will play out for the Jacks in their first game in unchartered territory, things are looking good for the Jacks. In their first Summit League Tournament game, the Jacks cruised to an easy 77-49 victory over Oral Roberts, but Johnston said this is different.

“There is nothing like the NCAA Tournament; absolutely nothing like it,” he said. “As good as Sioux Falls was, as good an atmosphere as that was, (what’s better is) the opportunity to play for a national championship. This is really a remarkable day for SDSU women’s basketball.”

TCU is 20-10 heading into the NCAA Tournament and are led by a trio of young talent. Helena Sverrisdottir leads the Horned Frogs in scoring at 16 points a game, while TK LaFleur is at 14.8 points per game. Emily Carter rounds out the scoring leaders for TCU, as the junior is at 11.4 points a game. Other than those three, TCU does not have anyone averaging over eight points a game.

Tip-off for the first-round game on March 22 is slated for 6 p.m. at the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University. The game is scheduled to air on ESPN2.

#1.881781:982341491.JPG:SLT_0370.JPG:Macie Michelson (2) passes around an IUPUI defender to teammate Kristen Rotert (14) during their Summit League Tournament semifinal match-up on March 9. The Jacks prevailed in the game and went on to win the tournament championship.:Ethan Swanson