Women's Basketball stops Oklahoma State, 61-56
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Junior forward Tiffany Jackson scored eight of the final 10 points of the game for Texas, while freshman guard Erika Arriaran netted a team-high 16 points and sophomore redshirt forward Katrina Robinson had a career-high 13 points, as Texas defeated Oklahoma State, 61-56, in Big 12 women's basketball action Saturday afternoon.
The Longhorns move back into the win column after losing their last three games - all against Top 25 opponents - to go to 13-11 overall and to 7-6 in the Big 12. The Cowgirls stand 6-18 overall and remain winless (0-13) in Big 12 competition.
Playing her first game since Feb. 3 (missing three games for Texas due to right ankle injury), UT's top scorer and rebounder Jackson came off the bench to add 12 points and nine rebounds. She came off the bench three minutes into the contest. After picking up her fourth foul with 11 minutes to go in the game, Jackson returned with four minutes left and accounted for eight points and four rebounds down the stretch.
Texas has now defeated OSU in 13 straight meetings, dating back to January of 2000.
In the second half, there were three ties and four lead changes after Texas took a 31-25 lead into halftime. The game was tied, 48-48 with 5:13 left before the Longhorns pulled ahead when Arriaran drilled a 3-point jumper from the left wing for a 51-48 lead 16 seconds later.
OSU then scored four answered points, on two free throws from Shaunte Smith and a Whitney Pegram layup, to lead 54-53 with 2:47 to play. At that point, Jackson scored six straight points, on a reverse layup with 2:28 to go followed by another layup 23 seconds later, to give UT a 57-54 lead with 2:05 to go.
The Cowgirls would miss four shots and commit two turnovers down the stretch, scoring just two free throws in the final 2:28. Oklahoma State cut the lead to one with 19 seconds to go, 57-56, on two Smith foul shots before Jackson, fouled on the next play, sank both ends of a one-and-one for a 59-56 Texas edge. On OSU's next possession, Jackson stole the ball at midcourt with sevens ticks left on the clock. UT's Nina Norman was fouled and Norman hit both free throws for the final 61-56 edge.
OSU was paced by 13 points apiece from Smith and guard Brisa Silva.
Texas finished the game shooting 40 percent, making 19 of 48 field goals. OSU was limited to 27 percent shooting, as the Cowgirls went 16 for 60 from the floor, including a 23 percent performance in the first half.
The Longhorns also held the edge in rebounding, 42-35. Texas committed 23 turnovers while OSU was called for 16 turnovers.
The Longhorns led at the half, 31-25, taking their first lead at halftime in four games. Texas was paced by Arriaran's eight first-half points and Robinson's seven points. Texas relied on foul shooting, making 10 of 11 free throws, while OSU was nine-for-13 from the charity stripe in the first 20 minutes.
Neither team shot well in the half, with Texas hitting 38 percent of its field goals, making nine of 24 taken. OSU connected on 23 percent of its shots (7-30), and went 6:26 without a field goal mid-way through the half, scoring three free throws only in that span. The Longhorns were hurt by first-half turnovers (11), while the Cowgirls had just six turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
Texas was down three, 14-11 with 8:13 to go in the half before going on a 13-2 run in a 5:16 stretch to take an eight-point lead, 24-16 on an Aubry Cook free throw with 2:57 left. UT pushed its lead to nine, 31-22, on a layup by Mari Mergerson with 16 seconds left, but OSU cut Texas' halftime lead to six (31-25) on a Taylor Hardeman 3-pointer with three seconds left.
Texas out-rebounded OSU by a 23-16 margin in the first half.
The Longhorns will wrap up regular season competition in the next 11 days. UT play its final regular season road game on Wednesday, Feb. 22, facing No. 21 Texas A&M in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown at 7 p.m. at Reed Arena in College Station. Following that game, Texas comes home for its final two regular season games, hosting Texas Tech (Sunday, Feb. 16, 3 p.m. on ESPN2 TV) and No. 12 Baylor (Wednesday, Mar. 1, 7:30 p.m. on FSN TV).
We were tough when we had to be down the stretch, and got some good minutes off the bench. Katrina Robinson played well for us. She just needed some confidence and minutes out there, and I've told her that. She has been working hard to get good looks, and it's great to see her making progress. Erika (Arriaran) was good for us at times, and she hit some big shots again today. It was good to have Tiffany (Jackson) back on the court. She was strong in the final minutes, but I would have liked to have her make some of those free throws so it would not have been so suspenseful for us."
On UT's next game - the final regular season road game (against No. 21 Texas A&M): Well, we are on the road once again Wednesday, at A&M. It will be another huge battle for us. I know the weather wasn't great in Texas or Oklahoma today, and lots of our fans could not make the trip up here, but we will really need them to come out in full force Wednesday night in College Station. I've said this time and time again - the Texas A&M game a few weeks ago in Austin (Feb. 8) was a turnaround game for us. We started playing much, much better, with lots of intensity, in the second half against the Aggies. Since then, the team has played much better. If we can put together two strong halves, we will have a chance Wednesday night."