No. 23 Women's Basketball stops Colorado, 68-49, wins third straight
AUSTIN, Texas -- Behind three players in double-figure scoring and a tough defensive pressure which forced Colorado into a season-high 32 turnovers, the No. 23 University of Texas women's basketball team posted a 68-49 Big 12 victory Saturday night at the Frank Erwin Center.
The 32 turnovers by the Buffs are the most by a UT opponent this year, and the 49 points by Colorado match the Buffs season low in scoring. Texas took advantage of those errors, scoring half of its points (34) off CU turnovers, while the Buffs had just seven points off Longhorn turnovers (17).
Texas moves to 13-4 overall and to 2-1 in the Big 12. The victory was UT's third in a row and the Longhorns are now 10-3 in their last 13 contests. Texas is 10-2 in home games to date.
Colorado, which was one of two Big 12 teams undefeated to start the day, is now 2-1 in the league and 8-7 overall.
Texas was paced by senior forward Tiffany Jackson who had a game-high 16 points, netting 15 of them in the final half. She was joined in double-figure scoring by junior guard Erneisha Bailey (15 points) and redshirt freshman Carla Cortijo (11 points). Cortijo also had a career and game-high seven assists. Jackson had eight rebounds to lead UT.
Colorado's top scoring duo of 6-3 junior Jackie McFarland and 6-1 senior Jasmina Ilic, who came into the game averaging a combined 33 points, scored eight below their average, as McFarland finished with 15 and Ilic with 10. Aija Putnina pulled down a game-high nine rebounds for CU.
Texas was up by 12 at intermission (31-18) and Colorado could get no closer than eight points (39-31 with 13:42 to go). After that, Jackson scored 10 points and Bailey added six in Texas' 20-2 run over the next 6:42, capped by a Gabriell Mattox jumper for a 59-33 lead with seven minutes remaining.
In that 20-2 UT run, the Buffs committed eight turnovers, went 0-for-5 from the floor and made two free throws.
Texas led at the half, 31-18, as Cortijo and Bailey each had seven points apiece for the Longhorns, who shot 38 percent from the floor. CU hit 30.4 percent (7-23) of its first-half field goals and turned the ball over 18 times.
The Longhorns opened with a 9-0 run and never trailed in the game. The closest Colorado would get was two points, 12-10, following a McFarland layup. Texas responded with a jumpers from Brittainey Raven and Cortijo and a Jackson free throw to push the lead to 17-10. CU cut the lead to six points, 24-18, on a Susie Powers jumper with 1:45 to play before Texas closed out the half with a 7-0 run on short jumpers from posts Aubry Cook and Ashley Lindsey and three free throws by Cortijo, who was fouled on a three-point attempt with 0.8 seconds to go.
For the game, Texas shot 39 percent (26-67), while the Buffs hit 37 percent of their shots (17-46). Colorado out-rebounded the Longhorns, 40-37. Texas had 17 steals, with four each from Jackson, Bailey and Raven. UT went 14-for-22 from the foul line, while Colorado was 12-for-14 from the charity stripe.
Texas returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 17, traveling to Ames, Iowa to face Big 12 opponent Iowa State in a 7 p.m. (Central) contest.
TEXAS POSTGAME QUOTES
We were living in the passing lane and creating a lot of opportunities for our offense off our defense. Being opportunistic is the word for tonight's effort. Colorado is a very big team, and we knew we needed to run with the ball. We have a lot of respect for what they've been doing as of late, and how well they've been shooting. Tonight, Erneisha (Bailey) had (Jasmina) Ilic as her defensive assignment, and Ilic came in averaging about 14 points, and E-Bay did a great job to hold her to five.
It was good to have a chance to play everyone tonight. All of our 10 players, our healthy ones, have been working really hard in practice, and fortunately, I was able to reward them for that tonight.
On Colorado turning the ball over a season-high 34 times, which also were the most TO's by a Texas opponent this year: Well, they had 18 at the half, but we had 12 or so, so we needed to capitalize on it better. We are trying to be a defensive team which can create offense with our defense, and we started the the second half doing that. By the time the game was over, they had not gotten a lot of open looks we made it difficult for them to score.
On the 10-player roster now, with three players out with injuries: We've talked this week how everyone needs to step up and do more. We have to rely on our defense more. Our team has committed to doing that. It is really discouraging to have an injury like Erika (Arriaran) has (torn left knee ACL). Erika, along with Crystal (Boyd) and Kristen Nash, have a routine with rehab and treatment every day. When it's possible for them to be in the practice gym, then they will be as supportive as they can be for us. I know they will pick up a lot by sitting on the sidelines. And, because there is not just one injured player, it helps that the three of them are a support system for each other.
Senior forward Tiffany Jackson
Texas junior guard Erneisha Bailey
COLORADO POSTGAME QUOTES
In the first two minutes, they set the tone with the physical nature of their play and ball pressure and way they were denying the wings. We could not have played two more diverse teams in back-to-back games then we have. Iowa State, known for their shooting, played catch and shoot, and tonight, we faced a really strong defensive team in Texas with great ball pressure.
Tonight, we were unable to get into anything we wanted to run. We tried to initiate it through a dribble entry, and struggled to reverse the ball in the post. And, we had too much pressure on the perimeter from their guards.