Women's Basketball wins holding No. 24 Missouri to one point in final 11:17
AUSTIN, Texas -- Freshman post Ashley Lindsey had 15 points and 11 rebounds, while junior forward Tiffany Jackson added her own double-double with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and Texas held No. 24 Missouri to one point over the final 11 minutes to rally for a 63-54 victory Saturday night at the Erwin Center. Jackson also had two blocks and a game-high six steals, while senior guard Nina Norman added 11 points and six rebounds for UT.
The victory for Texas moves the Longhorns to 8-6 overall and evens UT's Big 12 record at 2-2. The win also earned Texas coach Jody Conradt her 877th career victory, moving her past Adolph Rupp for third place all-time among men's and women's college coaches.
Missouri (13-3, 3-1) saw its 12-game win streak snapped and denied the Tigers the chance to go to 4-0 for the first time in conference history. This week, Mizzou entered the AP Top 25 for the first time in 21 years.
Texas earned its 29th straight conference win at home, and was aided by a strong post game. The Longhorns out-rebounded the Tigers, 49-36, and out-scored them in the paint, 36-24. This was UT's fifth game against a nationally-ranked opponent, as the Longhorns gained their first win against a Top 25 team this season.
Missouri, which twice held leads of 10 points or more in the second half, couldn't hold on under Texas' tight defense and ball control. UT turned the ball over only four times in the final 20 minutes.
Texas' defense shut down the Tigers' perimeter shooting that had opened up the big lead early in the half, as the Tigers shot 6-of-29 from the floor in the second half. The Tigers had a 51-40 lead with 13:07 left before Texas rallied and cut it to 53-50 on consecutive buckets from Norman and Erika Arriaran.
A LaToya Bond layup with 11:19 to play was the Tigers' last field goal. In the final 11:20, up by nine (53-44), the Tigers missed their final 15 shots from the field and four of five free throws while turning the ball over five times. The only Missouri point was on a Christelle N'Garsanet free throw with 40 seconds to play.
Texas erased the nine-point deficit with a 19-1 run in the final 11:20, paced by Jackson's eight points, four rebounds and one steal. Lindsey's short jumper gave Texas a 54-53 lead with 6:12 to play.
In the first half, the Tigers led 28-25 when LaToya Bond made two free throws and Carlynn Savant, a 51 percent 3-point shooter this season who ranks No. 13 nationally in 3-point shooting, hit another in a Tigers run that pushed the lead to 37-25 with two minutes left in the first half.
At intermission Missouri led 37-30, behind 10 points apiece from Bond and Tiffany Brooks. Lindsey and Norman each had seven points for UT, which shot just 12-for-33 (36 percent) from the floor to Mizzou's 43.3 percent. Jackson netted just two points in the half but was a defensive force with seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Texas dominated on the boards, out-rebounding the Tigers 24-15, but was hurt by 14 turnovers.
Missouri had three players in double-figure scoring, with Savant netting 14 and Bond and Brooks both scoring just two points in the second half to finish with 12 points each. N'Garsanet had a game-high nine rebounds and seven points.
For the game, Texas shot 38 percent from the field (25-66), while Mizzou hit 32 percent of its shots (19-60). Both teams converted 11 free throws, with Texas going 11-for-14 from the charity stripe and the Tigers going 11-for-19. UT also finished with nine blocks and nine steals, while the Tigers had three blocks and eight steals.
UT's bench came up big as well, collecting 29 of UT's 63 points. The Missouri bench chipped in for just three points.
The Longhorns return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 18, traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska to face the Nebraska Huskers. Tip is at 7:05, and the game will air live on KVET Radio/1300 AM and via the internet at TexasSports.com on the Yahoo!Sports subscription-based audio broadcast.
Tiffany was really good again tonight, and Nina (Norman) righted her game in the second half. Ashley (Lindsey) had some huge buckets for us. Erika (Arriaran) had important scores for us when we needed them in the second half. Tamra (Cobbins) gave us energy and points off the bench, and Coco (Reed) is so solid off the bench. In the meantime, our 40-minuters, up here with me (Jackson and Norman), kept playing hard.
At first, we were not quite ready for how aggressive they would be on the defensive end, and we got careless with the basketball. In our last two games (against Iowa State on Wednesday and tonight), we faced two entirely different teams. I felt really good that we could handle a team that played us in zones and with junk defenses like Iowa State did, and then turn around and play a team which handled us aggressively.
On taking away the 3-pointers from Missouri late in the game: Toward the end of the game, we focused better on switching screens, not leaving the 3-point shooters alone. We just followed our plan as Karen (associate head coach Karen Aston) had laid it out for them, as opposed to the first half when we went off on our own tangents.
I hope our fans are appreciating the fact that we are working hard to get better and make the adjustments. They were really supportive and gave us a lot of energy tonight. I told our team in the locker room before the game that we took our first good step in the Big 12 with our win against Iowa State the other night, and said that we had to validate that tonight. And, we did.
On the play of Tiffany Jackson: Tiffany has brought tremendous energy to the court in our last few games. She's been every where the last two games. I have encouraged our two leaders - Nina (Norman) and Tiffany - to be positive with our younger players, and they've done so. Tonight, Tiffany was having physical play inside every time down the court. We moved her to the "3" for a period. She had to guard (Carlynn) Savant, a great 3-point shooter. Tiffany and Savant know each other well, and Tiffany was at an advantage.
If you look at the stats, the scoring hasn't been what we thought it would be,. But, in our last games, her line has been incredible. She has just missed a triple-double the last two games. She had six steals tonight, eight the other night, and has been in double-figure rebounding the last two games.
On freshman post Ashley Lindsey (her third double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds): Ashley picks up buckets and relieves pressure on Tiffany. Ashley had a real key part of this win. She has worked hard and continues to improve. When she arrived here, Ashley was not known for her offense, and even now, it is not her first thought. I think she's understanding how important it is to chip in and help when she can. Tonight, she made some huge baskets.
On passing Adolph Rupp for third-place on the all-time collegiate basketball victories (men's or women's) list with the victory (win No. 877): Honestly, this win is just a really good win. It doesn't have anything to do with individual accomplishments. I am proud of this team. We need to feel confidence and success.
I have mixed emotions about Adolph Rupp's place in basketball history. The team has talked about the movie which is out now ("Glory Road", chronicling the 1966 national championship season for the Texas Western team that started five black players and beat Rupp's all-white Kentucky squad). We talked about the vindication that a lot of players should feel for UTEP's (formerly Texas Western) accomplishments. Our players don't remember that. It is ancient history to them. It is significant that (Texas Western's head coach) Don Haskins probably opened up a lot of doors for so many people. I cannot identify totally with the African-American players, but I can identify as a women doing things you're not 'supposed to do'.
That has been in my thoughts.
Senior Guard Nina Norman
Offensively, the screen and roll worked pretty good, and we kept trying to get the ball inside.
Missouri Head Coach Cindy Stein
When asked if team depth was a factor in last 10 minutes and how she felt when the lead was eroding: I am not sure that it is as much about depth as (it is) as much as what the last two weeks have been on us. Upsetting the national defending champion, being ranked, and having to defend ourselves every time out... Lots of people are doubting us. I am not complaining about the pressure, but it's been tough emotionally and physcially, and it really showed up in the last 10 minutes of the game. They have incredible depth, running players in and out, and that made it tough as well.
Give credit to Texas defense as well. They really turned up the volume.