Women's Basketball drops first-round to Iowa State in Big 12 Championship
DALLAS -- Despite four players in double-figure scoring, the No. 8 seed Texas Longhorns could not stop a barrage of Iowa State three-pointers and free throws down the final stretch, as the ninth-seeded Cyclones posted a 72-68 victory over Texas in the first round of the 2006 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship Tuesday afternoon at Reunion Arena.
With the setback, Texas stands 13-15 overall, having lost its last four games. Iowa State, now 17-11, advances to Wednesday's (March 8) quarterfinal round to face No. 1 seed Oklahoma in a noon contest at Reunion.
Iowa State was paced by game-highs of 19 points apiece from forward Brittany Wilkins and guard Heather Ezell, while guard Lyndsey Medders added 17 points. Medders, ranked No. 1 nationally in assists average (7.8), had a game-high seven assists.
Junior forward Tiffany Jackson (16 points) led Texas, while freshman guard Erika Arriaran added 15 points and seven rebounds and senior forward Daria Mieloszynska finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and a career-high and game-best five steals. Rounding out the UT double-figure scorers was freshman forward Mari Mergerson who had a career-best 10 points.
Texas will miss the NCAA Championships for just the third time since Texas joined the NCAA in 1983. In Jody Conradt's 30-year tenure, the Longhorns have advanced to either AIAW or NCAA postseason play 27 times.
The Longhorns held a 57-50 lead with 6:25 to play, but ISU went on a 15-2 run over the next 4:44 and pulled ahead by six, 65-59, with 1:31 to play. In that span, the Cyclones' points came from Medders (eight) and Wilkins (seven).
In the 15-2 ISU run, the Longhorns were stymied offensively, making just one of seven shots and turning the ball over four times.
Medders tied the game and gave the Cyclones the go-ahead basket on the run. Her jumper with 3:55 left tied the game 59-59. Following a Texas turnover on the Horns' next possession, Medders got the ball at the top of the circle and drained a 3-pointer for the 62-59 edge with 3:25 left.
A jumper by Wilkins pushed the lead to five, 64-59. ISU extended the lead to seven, 69-62 by going five-for-six in free throws before UT's Nina Norman sank a three-pointer to cut the lead to four, 69-65, with 25 seconds left.
Following a UT timeout, the Longhorns fouled on the next possession and Ezell sank both free throws to push the lead to six, 71-65. An Arriaran 3-pointer with seconds left led to the final four-point margin of victory for the Cyclones.
Texas led at the half, 30-28, on the strength of 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks by Mieloszynska. Texas started the game with a hot shooting touch, hitting 10 of its first 18 shots to take a 26-16 lead with 8:57 to go.
However, in the final nine minutes, the Longhorns then went cold from the floor and made just two of their last 12 shots while turning the ball over three times. That enabled Iowa State to go on 12-4 run to close out the half, with Medders netting seven of those 12 points.
Texas shot 40 percent in the half (12-30), while ISU made 38 percent of its shots (12-32), including a 3-for-11 effort from 3-point range. Texas had eight turnovers and the Cyclones had seven in the first period. The Cyclones out-rebounded UT, 21-17.
The Longhorns were aided by six blocks in the first half. UT finished with eight rejections, setting the school record for single season blocks in the process (164). Texas entered the game with 156 blocks. The former record was 160 blocks by the 1989-90 squad in 32 games.
Iowa State shot 52 percent in the second half (13-25) and ended the game making 43 percent of its shots, while Texas shot 41 percent (27-66) overall.
ISU entered the game averaging 7.3 3-pointers per game, and finished eight-for-20 in 3-pointers. Texas went 6-for-18 from long range, as Arriaran sank three treys.
Iowa State held a 42-33 edge in rebounding. The Cyclones turned the ball over 16 times to UT's 12 turnovers. Texas finished with 12 steals.
At the foul line, ISU was 14-for-20 while Texas was eight-for-10 in free throws.