AUSTIN, Texas -- Freshman guard Erika Arriaran notched 14 points, including a four-for-six performance from 3-point range, while senior point guard Nina Norman finished with eight points, nine rebounds and six assists, as the Texas women's basketball team registered a 60-46 victory over Big 12 opponent Oklahoma State Saturday afternoon at the Frank Erwin Center.
The win moves Texas head coach Jody Conradt to No. 2 all-time in collegiate basketball victories (in the men's or women's game). Conradt now has an overall record of 880-285, and surpasses retired legendary men's basketball coach and long-time North Carolina mentor Dean Smith for No. 2 honors. Conradt and Smith had been tied with 879 victories, a level Conradt reached with a victory over Kansas State on Jan. 22. Tennessee's Pat Summit stands first in all-time victories with 900.
Texas moves to 11-7 overall and to 5-3 in the conference, while Oklahoma State (6-14) remains winless in league action at 0-8. The Longhorns are 8-4 in their last 12 games, 5-1 in their last six.
The victory extends UT's home-court winning streak against Big 12 Conference opponents to 31 games - longest in the league. Texas also has defeated the Cowgirls in 12 straight games, dating back to the 1999-2000 campaign.
Arriaran, who had a career-high four treys, was the lone Longhorn in double-figure scoring. Norman's nine rebounds tied her season high and her six assists were a season-high. UT's leading scorer Tiffany Jackson entered the game with a 14.8 ppg average, but got into early foul trouble and finished with six points and four rebounds. Jackson's 14-game double-figure scoring streak was ended.
Four Longhorns finished with six points each, including freshman post Ashley Lindsey, who also added a team-best 11 rebounds and four blocks.
The Texas bench out-scored the OSU bench, 21-7.
OSU was led by a game-high 17 points from guard Brisa Silva, while freshman forward Shaunte Smith had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Cowgirl forward Destanie Sykes pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
In the second half, Texas led by as many as 16 points (42-26) before OSU closed the gap with a late run. The Cowgirls pulled to within nine points, 53-44, on a Whitney Pegram layup with 4:22 to go. OSU would score only two points the rest of the way, making just one field goal in six tries and turning the ball over five times.
With the game 53-44, Texas scored the next five points after Tiffany Jackson grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled downcourt and found Crystal Boyd on the baseline for a driving layup. Boyd was fouled on the play, converted her free throw to push UT's lead to 56-44 with 3:22 remaining. A Norman jumper followed by a Jackson layup sealed the win for Texas one minute later.
At intermission, the Longhorns held a 24-17 lead, as both teams were hurt by poor shooting. Texas hit just 28 percent of its field goal attempts (10 of 36), while the Cowgirls made just seven field goals on 28 attempts (25 percent shooting).
Texas broke a 5-5 tie by going on an 11-2 run and pulled ahead by nine, 16-7, on a Lindsey pullup jumper with 8:14 to go. In the final eight minutes, OSU pulled to within one points, 18-17, on a Smith 3-pointer with 5:09 remaining. Texas answered with a 3-pointer from Arriaran and a short jumper from Erneisha Bailey for a 23-17 lead. OSU missed their last four shots and had three turnovers in the final four minutes of the period.
Texas shot 34.3 percent for the game (24-70), but made five of 10 three-pointers. OSU hit 30.2 percent of its shots (19-63). Both teams pulled down 49 rebounds. Texas had nine blocks to OSU's five. The Cowgirls turned the ball over 18 times to UT's 12 turnovers.
Texas returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 1, hitting to road to face Texas Tech in Lubbock. Tip is an early one (5 p.m.), and the game will be televised on ESPNU. It also will be broadcast on KVET Radio (1300 AM) in Central Texas, and via the internet at TexasSports.com on subscription-based audio (Yahoo!Sports).
Head Coach Jody Conradt
Her general statement on the game: The first half almost put me to sleep. We had to make some big adjustments, since we were playing all but 18 minutes today with Tiffany (Jackson) who got into foul trouble early on. I know we are a much better shooting team that the 25 percent accuary we had (shooting) in the first half. Running the ball is our strength, and getting into the passing lanes. It took us a while to get that today.
You certainly don't feel comfortable when your All-American is sitting on the bench. We are good enough to win some games without Tiffany having to be out there for 30 minutes; we just have to change our mindset, and we did that in the second half. We missed her energy on the boards and energy on the defensive end, but others are stepping up. Erika (Arriaran), in my mind, passed up a lot of shots. She has different rules about shooting than anyone else on this team, and she has got to keep taking shots. I thought Crystal Boyd made a difference on the floor tonight. She was solid today.
Today was "Family Day", and at halftime you might have seen the introductions of everyone's family members. Almost everyone had family in town, and Family Day creates a distraction for us sometimes. I think it's a problem of having so people around, and the fact that the players all want to be perfect out there, so sometimes it is hard for us to get focused. I'd be worried if my mom (Ann Conradt) wasn't here, however. She does not miss us playing very much. I'd be worried if she wasn't here! It's a tossup between golf and coming to basketball games for her, and so far, I am winning.
About achieving win No. 880 and moving into the No. 2 position in all-time college basketball wins (men or women's coaches): Truly, I appreciate everyone recognizing it, but that's not been on my mind. What's been on my mind is that our team has to be able to bounce back after games like our disappointing loss to Oklahoma (Wednesday). This team is really working hard, and we know what the Texas standard is. We need to be as sharp as we can be. We need every win possible. That's been my focus.
To talk about the victories, however - it's all about The University of Texas. It's about the great players with great aspirations who have represented this University. It's getting more and more true that you have to be No. 1 or better at Texas. Certainly, we are wanting to get back at that level. These players want to represent UT and want to win and want to be the best teammate possible, like the dozens and dozens of other Texas players they are following here. Who wouldn't want to be associated with the wonderful players who have come through this University?
Freshman guard Erika Arriaran
On her performance and on Conradt reaching 880 career wins: They played zone today. We expected that. It seems to be easier for me to get open when a team does that. They respect our post so much, and that dragged the defense in. It gave the perimeter players more open looks and we started swinging the ball around.
As far as Coach Conradt goes, we all know what Coach's record is. I don't really know much about the history and who is on the all-time list, but we all know Coach Conradt and her record. For every win we get, we can add another win to Coach's record. We will be celebrating that when we get together later with our families. We really get excited for her and what we can do for her.
Head Coach Kurt Budke
His general statement: We are last in Big 12 scoring, and that's what you saw today. I want to congratulate Texas. They got the job done when it needed to get done. Part of the strategy today was to go at Tiffany Jackson. She is a great player, and if she gets to play 30 minutes, it is a problem. She is a great scorer and great passer who can find the open person. We felt at halftime that we should be tied, but it is hard to be ahead when you shoot 25 percent.
Today, we had to pick our poison. If there was anything to give up, it would be the 3's. But, great players like Erika (Arriaran) make you pay. We lost sight of her and track of her, and every time we did, she made us pay. She is going to be something else.
When Texas went to the trap in the second half, we reacted badly. We work on it all the time. And why we reacted that way I have no idea. No doubt that changed it right there and made us crawl back even further, which is tough, because we cannot score very well.