Jan. 14, 2009
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Ashleigh Fontenette scored a career-high 21 points to lead No. 16 Texas to a 74-60 win over Nebraska on Wednesday night.
Kathleen Nash had 20 points and six rebounds, and sparked a late first-half surge for the Longhorns (13-3, 1-1 Big 12). Texas went on a 9-0 run in the final 1:17 of the half to go into the break down 33-32. Nash scored seven of the nine points in the final 45 seconds.
The Longhorns then outscored Nebraska 17-5 in the first seven minutes of the second half to take a 49-38 lead. The Cornhuskers (9-6, 0-2) closed the gap to 62-57 with just under four minutes remaining in the game, but Texas went on a 12-0 run over the next three minutes.
Yvonne Turner led Nebraska with 21 points.
· Texas improved to 13-5 all-time against Nebraska and 7-1 when playing in Austin.
· Texas improved to 20-3 (.869) at home under Gail Goestenkors.
· Texas improved to 402-68 all-time in the Frank Erwin Center...UT has now won 10 consecutive games at home, a streak that dates back to its 70-55 win over Texas Tech on March 5, 2008.
· UT took the lead for the first time since scoring the first basket of the game at the 17:58 mark in the second half with a layup by Ashley Lindsey, 36-35.
· Texas trailed 33-32 at the half...It was just the third time in 16 games that the UT has trailed at the midway point...Texas is now 1-2 when trailing at the half.
· After being outscored 13-9 in the first half, Texas' bench outscored Nebraska's bench 30-16 overall...Texas' bench has outscored its opponents' in 12 contests this year and is 10-2 when scoring more points.
· The Longhorns held the Huskers to zero field goals between 19:26-14:10 in the second a half, a span of 5 minutes, 16 seconds, while using an 11-0 run to build a 43-35 lead.
· Texas shot 40 percent or better from the field for the fifth time in its last seven games.
· UT shot 50.0 percent (30-of-60 FG) marking the sixth time this season the Longhorns have shot 50 percent or better...Texas holds a 6-0 record in those games.
· The Longhorns also shot 40 percent or better from beyond the arc and improved to 8-1 when doing so.
· Texas held its largest lead of the game, 74-57, at the 00:32 mark in the second half.
· Posted a career-high 21 (9-of-13 FG, 1-of-2 3FG, 2-of-3 FT) points, including Texas' 12 points from 16:22-12:04 in the second half.
· Third double-digit scoring effort of her career and her first since back-to-back 10+ point outings at FAU (Nov. 30) and Ole Miss (Dec. 7).
· Set career highs in points (21), FGs (nine) and minutes (22).
· Led the Longhorns in scoring for the first time of her career.
· Tallied 12 points in the first half including a seven-point output in the final 44 seconds of the half.
· Marked the 13th double-figure scoring effort of the season and the ninth in the last 11 games.
· Pulled down a team-leading 6 rebounds, marking the third-straight game she's led the team in that category and seventh time this season.
· Dished out 10 assists for her second double-digit assist total this season...third time of her career to record 10 or more assists.
· Has led the Longhorns in assists in 13 of UT's 16 games this season.
· Tallied three blocks... has posted at least one block in 13-straight games.
HEAD COACH Gail Goestenkors
Opening statement: I'm just proud of the way the team came back at the end of the first half. We didn't start the way we wanted to obviously, but I thought we showed the emotion, the intensity, the focus, the energy that we need toward the end of that first half. We made a nice comeback and then we took that momentum into our locker room, and really carried it into the second half. I felt like we played a much better second half. We're happy to come away with a win. Any win in the Big 12 is a good win. I'm really proud, again, of my bench in particular. I thought Ashleigh Fontenette did a great job. She gave us that energy that we really needed and were looking for, the emotion. I'm just really proud of the lift she gave us.
On what flipped the switch when Texas was trailing by 10 in the first half: It was just our defense. We knew we needed to get after them. We were letting them run their offense, run their sets, and we needed to create some offense with our defense. So I felt like we really picked up the tempo on the defensive end of the floor, and it really helped on the offensive end of the floor as well. We got a couple of transition layups. Ashleigh Fontenette did a great job of penetrating, and she was able to kick and hit Kat [Nash] for a wide open shot as well. So we just became more aggressive on both ends of the floor.
On how the switch from zone defense helped Texas turn things around: We just knew we needed to get out of the zone because they were hitting threes on us, getting wide open shots. So our zone was not working for us. It did for a few possessions for us, then they adjusted and got some good looks. We needed to get aggressive and we're not quite as aggressive in our zone as we are in our man.
On whether the team can be defined right now: It's a work in progress. One thing I do know is that we need to be aggressive on both ends of the floor. If we're not aggressive, if we're passive, we're not a very good team. everything we do, even if we're going to make some mistakes, they need to be aggressive mistakes. I've come to understand that and I think the team has as well. We might turn the ball over a little more but as long as they're aggressive mistakes, I'm going to have to accept that for a little while until we just get a little bit better and are able to execute a little bit more. We're still finding out what everybody has to give us. I think our freshmen are starting to feel a little more comfortable and they're stepping up for us. As they grow, we're going to continue to grow as a team.
FRESHMAN GUARD Ashleigh Fontenette
On her career-best game: It was great, but I have to credit my teammates. They just always tell me to be aggressive.
On whether the team practiced differently this week after two straight losses: I think it was just our intensity in practice. We needed to pick up the intensity and push each other. That was the main thing.
SOPHOMORE GUARD Kathleen Nash
On how her seven-point streak at the end of the first half sparking the team's comeback: I think Ashleigh Fontenette got in there and she was the spark that we needed. All of my points kind of came from her. She made the stops on defense and she was the one who penetrated and kicked to me.
On the team getting its first Big 12 win of the year: It's great to win in the Big 12 because you know every game is a tough game. We're just happy go away from this one with a win.
On how her streak at the end of the first half came about: A few of them were [set plays]. Some of them were just reading the defense, and there were others where they told Ashleigh Fontenette to drive and kick it back to me if things weren't open for her.
HEAD COACH CONNIE YORI
Opening statement: Obviously, the end of the first half was a real key in the game. That gave them momentum going in and the confidence that they needed. I thought that carried over into the second half. I thought that their transition game really bothered us. We played really good transition defense for the first 18 minutes of the game, and I think that's the reason why we were where we were with the lead. They did a great job of getting the ball ahead on our makes and misses and got some easy baskets in transition. When we turned it over, they turned that into easy baskets as well. When we kept them in a half-court game, we were a little more effective.
On Ashleigh Fontenette: She had a career-high game and sometimes you're going to see that. They needed somebody to step up offensively, and she was the one. They have some pretty good weapons at the guard. She was on the scouting report, and we talked about her and what she could do. She had a good one.
On Texas using multiple defenses: Texas is Texas, and they are going to change defenses. I think that is what you're always going to see with Gail's teams. We coughed it up a few times on the traps but, they did a good job of reading our sets. They got out in our passing lanes. When we went back to our motion, I thought we did a little bit better.
JUNIOR GUARD YVONNE TURNER
On Kat Nash and Ashleigh Fontenette: They're two very good offensive players. Tonight, we just didn't transition back to defense, and that's where they hurt us the most. I think they are a very serious offensive threat.
On the Big 12 this year: The Big 12 is a very competitive league. We're going into every game having the confidence to win those games. We came into this game with high energy, a lot of confidence and knowing that we can win this game. It was one that slipped away from us.