AUSTIN, Texas -- Led by four players in double-figure scoring, including 13 points apiece from former Vanderbilt 6-6 All-America post Chantelle Anderson and forward Keila Beachem (Cal Poly-Pomona), Everyones Internet registered a 68-60 women's basketball exhibition game win over No. 12 University of Texas Thursday night. The game was played at the Frank Erwin Center in front of 1,668.
Everyones Internet, comprised of former collegians and WNBA players, connected on eight of 10 free throws in the final 4:53, while Texas made just one of its eight field goal attempts during that span.
This was the first of two exhibition games for the No. 12 Longhorns, who feature a roster of 15, including seven freshmen - the largest rookie class in Texas basketball history.
The Longhorns were paced by senior guard Nina Norman (Houston, Texas) with 16 points. Freshman guard Crystal Boyd (Little Rock, Ark.) came off the bench to provide 12 points while All-America junior forward Tiffany Jackson (Dallas, Texas) added 10 points.
Texas shot just 35 percent for the game, making 24 of 69 field goals, while Everyones Internet connected on 47 percent of its shots (22-of-47). EI went 19-for-24 from the foul line, while the Longhorns were seven of 16 from the charity stripe.
Down by four (54-50) with 6:28 to play, Norman scored six straight points on a traditional three-point play (layup and free throw) and a long 3-point jumper, to give UT a 56-54 edge with 5:07 left. Senior Daria Mieloszynska pushed the lead to four, 58-54, on a driving layup 33 seconds later. The two teams then traded baskets before Anderson tied the game at 60-60 with a layup with 2:51 to play.
The Longhorns would not score again in the game, turning the ball over once while missing its final six shots and a free throw down the stretch.
In contrast, Everyones Internet scored on each of its final five possessions of the game. EI broke the 60-60 tie with a Beachem layup with 2:09 to go, and pushed the final margin to eight points by netting six of its final eight free throws - two free throws each from guards Felica Ragland (Oregon State) and Cynthia Jordan (Temple) along with Anderson.
Everyones Internet was playing its third game in as many nights, and is now 2-1 on its exhibition tour to colleges around the Southwest and Atlantic Coast. On Tuesday (Nov. 1), EI defeated Louisiana-Lafayette, 82-54, and lost Wednesday to No. 3 LSU, 84-66.
EI led at intermission, 31-20, shooting 58 percent from the floor (11 for 19) in the first 20 minutes. Everyones Internet jumped out to a 10-point lead, 22-12, on a Jae Cross 3-pointer as EI opened the contest hitting eight of its first 10 shots.
Texas, which shot 31.6 percent in the first half (12-for-28), closed the gap with a 9-0 run over the last 3:56 in the half. EI turned the ball over three times and missed two shots in that span, while UT got four baskets from four different players. Jackson led the way for UT in the first period with eight points, four boards and two steals.
Everyones Internet turned the ball over 16 times in the first half, while UT committed just seven turnovers. UT held the edge in first-half rebounding, 21-17.
For the game, Everyones Internet out-rebounded UT, 40-36. The Longhorns turned the ball over 19 times to EI's 27. UT had 12 steals and four blocks, while the EI squad had 10 steals and 10 blocked shots.
The Longhorns will close out their exhibition slate with a second exhibition game on Thursday, Nov. 10 against the Houston Jaguars at 7 p.m. at the Erwin Center. Texas officially opens the season on Friday, Nov. 18 against New Mexico at 7 p.m. in Austin.
For UT season tickets or single game tickets, go to TexasBoxOffice.com or call 1-800-982-BEVO or 512-471-3333. Tickets may also be purchased at the Frank Erwin Center Box Office, at the UT Athletics Ticket Office, located in Bellmont Hall before (9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, Central), or at any H-E-B store in the Austin area.
Texas Head Coach Jody Conradt
Her opening statement: I asked (assistant coach and scheduler) Kathy Harston to get us some good teams to play in the exhibition season, and you saw that she certainly did. Everyones Internet was formidable. They had a lot of talent and a lot of experience. We may have a lot of talent, but we also have a lot of inexperience. We started out frozen on the court and then we loosened up and started to play better as the game went on. Unfortunately, we did not respond well down the stretch and did not make the plays down the stretch - as I expected from such a young team with half of our players in their first collegiate game. Our challenge is to see how much progress we can make before next Thursday's exhibition with the Houston Jaguars.
On specifics that she saw from the Longhorns, positive and negative: There was not an area that we were good at all night long. I saw some good scrambling on defense, and we did better on offense late in the first half and early in the second. We did not show the will to push the ball and play transition game, however. If you look at the stat sheet ...we took 20 more shots than they did. And, we were low in the assists area - we had just seven while taking 69 shots and making 24 of them. That shows me a lack of patience and that our shot selection needs to approve. We weren't really good on the offensive end.
It's about consistency for all of our players right now. I thought at times we showed the ability the push the ball well - at least we got going in the second half. Again, the shooting is not the percentage we wanted. We just were not patient enough offensively - everyone was trying to force the action a bit, but that is something we can improve on.
A positive was that we never let them get so far ahead that we could not catch up. We did keep making runs and Nina (Norman) tried to carry us at the end. Nina is going to have to be the impetus who gets us going. The rest of the team feeds off her willingness to be aggressive.
On the seven freshmen and their progression: Tonight, I did not put more than three of them out there at the same time. I was trying to keep some stability out there. I wanted the chance to get them all out of the floor, but two of them could not play. Due to knee injuries, Aubry (Cook) is not ready to play - she has not been in full practice this week, and Maudi (Mariana Mergerson) is not released yet medically. I certainly like our potential and I think we will have good depth. It is going to take some time as they get some experience.
Texas Senior Guard Nina Norman
On the team's performance and on playing with so many freshmen: Basically, we were trying to get the ball inside for easy shots. That was our focus. But, you saw how difficult that was for the posts and it was also really hard for us to drive inside as guards. Finally, a lot of the guards started to pull up and take the jumpers.
Personally, I have to play a lot harder. I need to do that every minute. I have to step up and get the team going every minute.
In terms of all the freshmen, I really enjoy playing with them. Right now, it's new faces besides you and we all have to learn to play with each other - we will do a lot better than we did tonight, I can tell you that. Before the game, a lot of them (freshmen) were nervous and scared and think it took them awhile to get rid of jitters. They were looking around wide-eyed before the game. But, we are going to be good - we just have a lot of work to do.
Everyones Internet Head Coach Kevin Cook
(Note: Cook also serves as WNBA Houston Comets assistant coach)
His general feelings about the game and about the Longhorns: I can simply tell you this - Texas is a real, real young team and we have a veteran team and we were supposed to win. In time, Texas is going to be a powerhouse club, but they are going to go through growing pains for a bit.
I think it's just going t be a period of adjustment for Texas. I look at Carla (freshman guard Carla Cortijo) whom I have not seen play very much but who has been in my backyard in Houston. She is special. I told my veteran group tonight, we have the advantage. Half of the Texas team has never played a college game and they are going to be nervous - and they were.
On these kind of tours, every game for us is a road game. This is a gutty bunch we have. They are players who need second-chances to try and make the WNBA rosters or play overseas. I am happy with the way they performed under pressure.