LUBBOCK, Texas -- Senior forward Alesha Robertson nailed the game-winning shot, hitting a three-pointer with 6.1 seconds left, to lift Texas Tech to a 49-48 Big 12 women's basketball victory over Texas Saturday afternoon in front of 12,365 at the United Spirit Arena.
The loss drops the Longhorns to 14-7 overall and to 3-4 in the Big 12. Texas Tech, despite its lowest field goal total (15) and shooting effort of the year (26.3 percent accuracy from the floor), picked up the win and moved to 13-8 and to 4-3 in the league.
Texas held a seven-point edge, 48-41, with 2:07 remaining following a long 3-pointer by freshman Brittainey Raven. Following a Tech timeout, Robertson hit the first of two from beyond the arc in the waning minutes, to cut the margin to 48-44 with 1:49 to go.
Texas missed a 3-pointer on its next trip down the court, and Tech cut the lead to two, 48-46, after a fastbreak layup from Erin Myrick with 1:10 left. Another Texas miss on the Longhorns' next possession gave the ball to Tech as Chesley Dabbs snared a defensive rebound with 40 seconds remaining.
Robertson's winning shot -- just her second field goal of the game -- came after Raquel Christian missed a short jumper from the right side. UT junior guard Erneisha Bailey grabbed the rebound, but Robertson tangled with Bailey for the ball and a jump ball was called, with Tech retaining possession on the alternating possession rule.
On the game-winning play, Dabbs dribbled around the top of the key before dribbling the ball off her foot. The ball not only went straight to Robertson, but the miscue also put Dabbs in perfect position to shield off Raven and provide Robertson with an open shot from about 22 feet.
Texas had a final chance for the win with 6.1 seconds left. After Texas called a time out, Tiffany Jackson brought the ball all the way up the court and drove to the basket but missed a short jumper which hit the rim. With one second left, Earnesia Williams got the rebound and her putback fell short at the buzzer.
Texas played the majority of the game without the services of leading scorer, rebounder, shot blocker and steals leader Jackson, who was saddled with foul trouble. Jackson entered the game averaging 19.1 ppg and 9.3 rpg overall (and 18.0 ppg, 9.8 rpg) in Big 12 play. She played just 15 minutes, picking up her fourth foul with 12:27 left in the game.
Texas was led by freshman guards Raven and Carla Cortijo, who had 10 points apiece. Cortijo also dished out a career-best nine assists. Bailey added eight points and had a team-high 10 rebounds. Freshman Niqky Hughes also finished with eight points and had seven rebounds.
The Lady Raiders were led by post players Erin Myrick and Patrice Edwards, who combined for 27 points. Myrick picked up a double-double with game-highs of 16 points and 12 rebounds to go with three blocks, while Edwards came off the bench to add 11 points and six boards. Myrick scored eight of her game-high 16 points in the final 51/2 minutes. Robertson finished with nine points (six below her average) and eight rebounds.
The Longhorns led at intermission, 24-20. Texas gained the lead for the rest of the half at the 11:30 mark, 13-12, following a drive to the basket by freshman Brittainey Raven.
Texas held its largest lead of the half -- seven points (24-17) -- following a Cortijo pullup jumper with five seconds left, but Tech closed the gap to four points at intermission as Jordan Murphree nailed a long three-pointer at the buzzer.
Neither team's top scorer -- Jackson for Texas, Robertson for Texas Tech -- scored in the opening half. Jackson was saddled on the bench with two early fouls, going 0-2 from the floor while playing the opening five minutes only. A second UT starter, Erneisha Williams, played just seven minutes, also sitting with two fouls.
Robertson (13.5 ppg average) was 0-5 from the floor in the first half for Tech, which shot just 19.4 percent in the first 20 minutes of play. Tech made six of 31 field goal attempts.
The Longhorns hit 35.5 percent of their shots in the first half (11-for-31). Texas committed just five turnovers in the first 20 minutes, while the Lady Raiders had seven. Tech held a 24-22 edge in rebounding and helped keep it close by going six-for-six from the foul line.
Cortijo had seven points and five assists in the first half, while Myrick was Tech's leader, scoring eight points while pulling down eight rebounds.
Texas shot 34.5 percent in the game (20-58) and was six-for-10 from the foul line. The Longhorns turned the ball over only 11 times to Tech's 14 turnovers. The Lady Raiders went 15-for-19 from the free throw area. Tech held the edge in rebounding (46-38).
Texas returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 31, facing its third Top 25 opponent in a stretch of four games when it hosts No. 6 Oklahoma in a 6 p.m. Contest at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. Tip is at 6 p.m. -- one hour earlier than most UT night games -- and will air live on ESPNU.
Tickets to all Texas Basketball home games may be purchased online at TexasBoxOffice.com; by calling 800-982-BEVO or 512-471-3333; in person at any Texas Box Office outlet, including Austin-area H-E-B stores and the UT Athletics Ticket Office in Bellmont Hall (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CT); and in person one hour prior to game time at the Frank Erwin Center box office.
Special ticket promotions for the Texas-OU game include "Team Night", with a $3 general admission ticket for all players and coaches in their team jerseys or t-shirts. There also is a $4 general admission ticket with Web coupon.
· UT freshman point guard Carla Cortijo's nine assists were a career high
· Cortijo has reached double-figure scoring five times in the last seven games, scoring 74 points for a 10.6 ppg average in this span
· With her team-high 10 rebounds, junior guard Erneisha Bailey has now pulled down 10 or more rebounds five times this year ... The 5-9 guard has been UT's top rebounder in six games to date
· Seven of Texas' 21 games this year have been decided by five or less points... The Longhorns are now 4-4 in those games overall, and 2-3 in Big 12 contests which are decided by five points or less
· The all-time series with Texas Tech is the longest series in UT history... Texas leads series play, 52-23, although the Lady Raiders have a three-game win streak in the series
Texas Tech Head Coach Kristy Curry: Ugly counts. It's an ugly win, but we'll take it. I was very proud of how we hung in there in a game where the shots weren't falling. Everybody has been so critical of (Erin) Myrick, so hard on her, so down on her, and the bottom line is that none of these kids don't wake up every day wanting to do well. We talked the past couple of days, and you could just tell she had enough of it and carried us today.
Texas Head Coach Jody Conradt: I really don't have very much to say about this game. I think our inexperience was a big issue, and we were out there for most of the game without (leading scorers) Tiffany Jackson and Earnesia Williams, both in early foul trouble. When the pressure gets on, sometimes players go back to their comfort level. I think that's when our inexperience showed. I was worried all game long about their guard play. That was the focus of our defense today. Texas Tech spreads you out, and although the Texas Tech guards were struggling shooting all game long, we knew that they would be going to (Alesha) Robertson when it mattered.
In terms of when to put Tiffany back in with her foul fouls, I considered every situation possible. In the end, it was simple -- Tech executed, and we did not.