No. 16/18 Women's Basketball downs Oklahoma State, 91-74
Feb. 5, 2009
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Part 1 of Gail Goestenkors' plan to make Texas a championship contender seems to be firmly in place.
Brittainey Raven scored a career-high 26 points, freshman Ashleigh Fontenette added 16 and the 16th-ranked Longhorns hit a season-high 13 3-pointers in a 91-74 rout of Oklahoma State on Thursday night.
The Longhorns (16-5, 4-3 Big 12) hit 10 of their first 12 attempts from 3-point range, opening a 19-point lead in the closing minute of the first half. Many of the shots were wide open, including one on which Tegan Cunningham simply stopped and watched as Fontenette connected from the left wing.
"It's a lot of fun when everybody's hitting their shots," said Kathleen Nash, who tied Raven with a team-high four 3-pointers. "I think once other people start making them, everybody's like, 'We can make them, too.'
"It's contagious, and it's just a lot of fun when we're making them like that."
Goestenkors said the strong perimeter play is a step toward establishing at Texas what she had at Duke - a team that made it to four Final Fours.
"We're still working, obviously, on our post game. I'm used to having a really good inside and outside attack, so we're still bringing our post players along," said Goestenkors, who's in her second year with the Longhorns.
With their outside shooting sizzling, the Longhorns hardly needed any inside presence to move ahead of the Cowgirls in the Big 12 standings. They were on pace to shatter the school record of 14 3-pointers and the Big 12 record of 18 set by Iowa State, and perhaps even challenge the NCAA record of 21, but made only three of 11 tries after the hot start.
"I haven't seen anybody come into this gym and shoot like that - ever," Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke said. "They did a good job of making the extra pass and finding the open person, and they just made you pay."
Texas kept pulling away with a 13-0 run as the Cowgirls (14-6, 3-4) went 7 1/2 minutes without scoring in the second half to fall behind 73-43.
Andrea Riley, the Big 12's leading scorer, led Oklahoma State with 26 points but missed 13 straight shots and finished 10-for-30. Cunningham added 13 points and Kristin Hernandez scored 12.
While Texas was nearly perfect, Oklahoma State started out 2-for-21 from 3-point range. Riley, a preseason All-American, got out to a 5-for-7 start from the field but then made just one of her next 19 shots as the Cowgirls fell hopelessly behind.
"When the ball's just not going in the hole, you have to pick it up on defense, and we didn't do that on the defensive end," said Riley, who went 1-for-11 from 3-point range and scored 11 of her points after the Cowgirls had fallen behind by 30.
Carla Cortijo and Nash each added 15 points for Texas. Fontenette, who moved into the starting lineup in the Longhorns' upset at No. 4 Baylor on Sunday, hit all six of her shots - including three 3s - for her second-best scoring total of the season. All of her scoring came in the first half.
"I think she gives us great energy, and it's nice to start the game with that energy," Goestenkors said.
The only reason the Cowgirls were even within 55-40 at halftime was because of their 13 offensive rebounds, which they converted into 13 second-chance points while allowing none by Texas. They didn't score another second-chance point in the second half.
It was the start of a brutal five-game stretch for Oklahoma State, which continues with home games against No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 8 Baylor before a road trip to face No. 18 Kansas State and a rematch with the Longhorns.
"It's like a positive and a negative coming out of this because - you know what? - we have so many more games to redeem ourselves, and this stretch will give us some lift," Riley said.