Women's Basketball upsets No. 10 Purdue, 64-61
AUSTIN, Texas -- Senior forward Tiffany Jackson scored 20 points and Texas hit four free throws in the final 22 seconds as Texas posted an upset 64-61 women's basketball victory over No. 10 Purdue Sunday afternoon in the Big 12/Big Ten Challenge at the Frank Erwin Center.
Texas, relying on a 13-for-15 effort from the foul line and three players in double-figure scoring, improves to 11-4. The Longhorns pick up their first victory on the year against a Top 25 opponent in four tries. Texas is now 4-1 in its last five games. The loss snapped Purdue's season-high seven-game win streak, as the Boilermakers are now 14-3. This was the final non-Big 12 game of the regular season for Texas, as the Longhorns went 11-3 against non-conference opponents.
In the final 32 seconds, the Longhorns went four-for-four from the foul line, with Jackson (Dallas, Texas) and redshirt freshman Earnesia Williams hitting two apiece. With Texas up three, 60-57, a driving layup by Purdue guard FahKara Malone pulled the Boilermakers to within one, 60-59 with 32 seconds to go. Ten seconds later, Jackson was fouled on a shot attempt, and made both ends of her one-and-one to give UT a 62-59 lead.
On Purdue's next possession, Malone again drove the court and converted on a layup to cut the lead the UT lead to 62-61 with 14 seconds remaining.
On the Texas inbounds play, Williams (Sapulpa, Okla.) was fouled under the Purdue basket, and she converted on her two free throws with 13 seconds for the game's final points. On Purdue's final possession, a three-point attempt from the wing by post Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton bounced off the front of the rim with two seconds left.
Joining Jackson in double-figure scoring for the Longhorns was redshirt freshman point guard Carla Cortijo, who turned in her finest performance to date with a career-high 14 points and a career-high tying eight rebounds. Cortijo (Bellaire, Texas) also had two steals in 27 minutes of play. Sophomore guard Erika Arriaran added 11 points. Arriaran (Norco, Calif.) made three of UT's five 3-pointers. Williams finished with eight points.
Purdue was led by Wisdom-Hylton with a double-double of 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The Longhorns held Purdue's top scorer, senior guard Katie Gearlds, to seven points below her scoring average of 18.4 ppg. Geralds (12 points), the team leader with 42 3-pointers and a 41 percent accuracy from long range, was 0-4 from the arc. Malone finished with 11 points and a game-high five steals.
The game saw six lead changes and two ties. After leading at intermission, 38-32, the Longhorns never relinquished the lead in the final 20 minutes. UT's biggest lead in the second half was seven points four times, the last being a 60-53 edge with 3:43 to play. After that, Purdue went on its 6-0 run, capped by Malone's layup, to pull within one, 60-59.
The Longhorns led at the half for the 10th time this season, holding a 38-32 lead despite the Boilermaker's shooting 56 percent from the floor. The Longhorns dominated on the boards in the opening period, 21-14 and used a five-for-nine shooting effort from 3-point range to take the halftime lead. Those five treys in the first half tied the Longhorns single game high this season, as twice before UT made five treys in a game. Arriaran was three-for-five from 3-point territory in the half.
Texas jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the opening four minutes of action, with Jackson accounting for five points. Purdue, which started the game hitting just one of its first seven shots, came back and made eight of their next nine shots to tie the game at 19-19 on a Gearlds jumper with 8:36 to go. Purdue then took their first and only lead in the first half on another Gearlds jumper, 21-19, on the Boilermaker's next possession.
After that, the two squads exchanged leads before Texas regained the edge for good in the half, 26-25, on a Jackson offensive rebound and putback with 4:46 left. The Longhorns extended the lead to nine (36-27) with two minutes to play before taking the seven-point lead into intermission.
Arriaran (11 points) and Jackson (nine points, eight rebounds) led the way in the first half. Texas shot 39.4 percent, making 13 of 33 field goal attempts. Purdue, although out-rebounded, had strong play inside, out-scoring the Longhorns 16-4 in the paint. Purdue also had six blocks in the half with four by Wisdom-Hylton.
For the game, Texas shot 35.4 percent (23-65), while Purdue cooled off in the second half and finished the game shooting 43 percent, making 27 of 63 field goal attempts. Purdue held a 40-39 edge in rebounding. UT turned the ball over 14 times to Purdue's 20 turnovers. The Boilermakers were six-for-12 from the foul line for the game. Purdue ended the contest out-scoring the Longhorns by a 32-24 margin in the paint.
Texas will hit the road for two of its next three games, beginning with Wednesday's (Jan. 10) Big 12 contest at Missouri (13-2 overall, 1-1 in the Big 12. That game tips at 6:30 p.m. and will air live on KVET Radio 1300 AM in Central Texas. The Longhorns then come back to Austin for their next Big 12 matchup against Colorado on Saturday, Jan. 13 (7 p.m.). For tickets to UT Athletics event, go to TexasBoxOffice.com.
PURDUE POSTGAME QUOTES
On the play of senior guard Katie Gearlds: I felt like Katie got some good looks and played great defense and pulled down some quality boards today. Earneshia Bailey did a great job on her defensively, but that (defense) is something that she has grown accustomed to seeing.
Purdue junior forward Lindsey Wisdom-Hylton
Purdue senior guard Katie Gearlds
TEXAS POSTGAME QUOTES
Our team really needed this after a rough stretch. We knew coming in that there was no room for error out there against Purdue. We wanted our team to have some success and be rewarded for their hard work and that happened today.
On the first signature win of the season: We did not perform well against Tennessee and Duke, but today was a great day for this team. There was a time a few weeks ago when I looked ahead at the schedule and said, `what are we thinking, playing Purdue during the Big 12 schedule?' But, it gave us another opportunity to see where we were against a really quality opponent. We responded well to the challenge of playing a top team. This win should give up some tremendous motivation. I am glad the team got rewarded for all the work they are putting into the game lately. Their work ethic has improved dramatically as of late, and the hard work paid off today.
On redshirt freshman guard Carla Cortijo's performance (career-high 14 points, career-high tying eight rebounds): I told Carla going into the game that we really needed her to play well tonight. She responded to the challenge and played really well. Looking at her stat line, she equaled Tiffany on the glass! They both had eight rebounds. In addition, she provided some great offense. Carla has been working extra on her shooting.
On the knee injury to Erika Arriaran with 31 seconds left to play: If there's a negative to today, it is with Erika and the injury. I am concerned about Erika right now. We'll get her evaluated as quickly as possible and find out. We've played through last season and this season with a lot of missing pieces in the lineup due to injuries. You hope to not have them be serious, of course, by they are part of the game. Competitors take risks every time they go out there. We've had our share of injuries last year and this year, too, with the loss of (guard) Crystal Boyd for the season last week and with Earnesia Williams and Carla (Cortijo) coming back slowly from their knee surgeries a year ago. We will just wait and see what Erika's (doctor's) evaluation brings.
On shortening up the bench: Our team had really good chemistry and we stayed connected tonight. It was not the type of game where we could play a lot of people. I know in the practice environment who will be able to step up and play certain roles for our team and our players did a great job doing that today.
Junior guard Erneisha Bailey
On responding well today after fouling out against Nebraska in UT's last game on Wednesday: That was a bad feeling I was left with Wednesday. You really cannot help your team when you are in foul trouble or sitting on the bench, like I was against Nebraska. I wanted to be aggressive and be smart at the same time. I did my best to stay disciplined and stay aggressive at the same time. At the end of the game, I started to reach (on defense), and told myself, no, you cannot do that, don't do that.
On defending Gearlds on Purdue's final possession: We all knew who Purdue was going to try and get the ball to for the last shot -- Gearlds. I knew we had to make a switch defensively to keep Gearlds covered. I was screened off her, and saw E-Dub (Earnie Williams) at the top of the key and I knew she had to pick her up, so I was screaming to her to do it. We did what we had to do to keep the ball out of her hands in that situation and then their post, Wisdom-Hylton, took the three and didn't make it.
Senior forward Tiffany Jackson
Redshirt freshman point guard Carla Cortijo
Before practice all this week, I have been working extra with Coach Clarissa (Davis-Wrightsil) on my jump shot. When I made my early "3", I said, `wow', to myself, and making that shot gave me a lot of confidence. They were letting me shoot open shots in the second half, which kind of surprised me. So, I took advantage of it.