Women's Basketball earns season sweep of TCU with 59-46 victory
Feb. 26, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Women’s Basketball team got solid performances from two of its freshman to sweep the first Big 12 series against TCU with a 59-46 win Tuesday night at the Frank Erwin Center.
Freshman guard Empress Davenport scored a season-high 15 points shooting 7-of-12 from the field in 36 minutes of action. Freshman center Imani McGee-Stafford tallied 15 points and 12 rebounds for her 12th double-double of the season. The five-time Big 12 Freshman of the Week is averaging 11.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game over the last six contests.
Texas (11-16, 4-12 Big 12) used a 14-0 first-half run to build a 21-3 lead over the first nine minutes of the game. TCU (8-19, 1-15 Big 12) was held to 1-of-19 shooting to start the game and went scoreless for a stretch of 9:44. Junior GiGi Mazionyte’s three-pointer with just over four minutes to play in the first half matched Texas’ biggest lead of the night at 30-10. McGee-Stafford and Mazionyte led Texas with seven points apiece in the opening stanza to give the Longhorns a 30-18 halftime edge.
TCU guards Zahna Medley and Kamy Cole would break TCU out of its shooting slump to bring the Horned Frogs back into the game in the second half. TCU used a 24-4 run spanning from 4:15 to play in the first half to 12:51 remaining in the second half to tie the game at 34. Cole and Medley combined for 23 points to lead the Horned Frogs.
Davenport and freshman guard Brady Sanders combined for the Longhorns’ next 11 points over a span of 3:06 to push Texas’ lead back to 45-36 with just less than nine minutes remaining. TCU would only get as close as seven the rest of the way as the Longhorns outscored the Horned Frogs 25-12 over the final 12:51 to hold on for the victory.
Texas plays its final road game of the season Saturday, March 2 against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla.
On her message at tied-game timeout and the focus of the team: We talked about refocusing on defense. I thought we had some players tonight that were a little bit caught up in offense. They weren’t getting shots that they wanted to get or they weren’t going in. We just talked about trying to focus on the defensive end and I think we came right out of that timeout and got some stops and transition buckets, which gave us a little confidence to get back on track. I thought it was one of those games where you could almost see the attentions span of our freshmen or the attention span of our team. We were good, then we relaxed, then we tried to refocus, then we lose our attention again. Tonight was one of those games. Sometimes that’s what I look at in practice. We can’t stay focused and intense for a long period of time. Sometimes we are really good at it but everyone once in a while they have those days and this seemed to be one of those. Yesterday was one of those days in practice.
On freshman maturing: Our freshmen have had way too many minutes for us to be making excuses about mistakes they are making or things that they do wrong. I think they have had way too many minutes to feel that way. I think they are saying that now. They are feeling more comfortable with the expectations of our coaching staff and of the Big 12.
Freshman C Imani McGee-Stafford
On freshman carrying load: I don’t think I’ve noticed it. I think we just do what is called of us when we need to. We just do what we need to when we need to. Whoever gets the bucket, it’s a Texas bucket at the end of the day.
On Coach Aston at halftime: Coach told us it was going to be a dogfight unless we came out of the gates and we didn’t come out of the gates. I think we all just had to refocus and regroup and that’s what we did.
Freshman G Empress Davenport
On leadership role: Yes, I feel as games go on and time goes on I get in different situations and they help me grow as a person. The coaches have been coaching me through each situation. The games and practices have helped me grow as a person.
On what Texas did differently in the last 12 minutes after TCU went on a hot streak: I thought their defense got better down that stretch. [Empress] Davenport played really well tonight. She knocked down some timely shots. We are putting more emphasis on [Chassidy] Fussell, [Imani] McGee-Stafford and Nneka [Enemkpali], but I thought Davenport hit some timely shots. [Celina] Rodrigo doesn’t score a whole lot but she has a decent stat line for her five assists. I thought their players that normally don’t put up big numbers had nice nights for them.
On the message to his team after the game: I can’t say my message was real positive after the game. I think that we haven’t grown up to the point that we understand that we have to play every possession. You can’t come in here and expect to win playing 20 minutes. That is probably what we played. We probably played the last 10 minutes of the first half and the first 10 [minutes] of the second half.
On Imani McGee-Stafford’s progress: She is very disruptive. I thought she would be this good [as a freshman]. That is the unknown, you don’t know until a player gets there and works and improves. She has improved. From our first game to this game, she played the ball screen better; she played it smarter. She did the play when she needed to. We picked up about three illegal screens where I thought Imani changed our angle a little bit. She did not do that in the first game. They obviously had her prepared to do that, but it is up to her to do that. She is a very good player and she is going to be a force in this league for many, many years.
On Texas as a force in the future with their freshmen talent: I see no reason why they can’t. They have some pieces here and the improvement of Davenport [is big]. I thought she did a real nice job of running the team and doing some things. Rodrigo I think has done a solid job of playing her role. As the season goes on as evidence of tonight, Empress is taking on more of a role than she was a month ago. That is the growth of her as a player. In our case, I think Kamy Cole has had great growth. Zahna Medley had a tough night tonight, but we have asked her to do an awful lot all year. So we have to give her a little help. I have been pleased with our freshmen as well.