Women's Basketball posts exhibition win over TTT Riga
AUSTIN, Texas -- Paced by a quartet of double-figure scorers, the No. 2 ranked Texas women's basketball team registered a 95-54 exhibition game victory over TTT Riga of Latvia Wednesday evening at the Frank Erwin Center.
Leading the way for the Longhorns, ranked No. 2 in the preseason Associated Press Poll and No. 3 in the USA Today/ESPN Poll, were All-America candidates senior Heather Schreiber (Windthorst, Texas/Windthorst HS) and sophomore Tiffany Jackson (Dallas, Texas/Duncanville HS), who each scored 19 points. Jackson added game-highs of seven rebounds, three blocks and four steals.
Following Jackson in the scoring column were senior forwards Mercedes Williams (Houston, Texas/Westfield HS) with 15 points and Annissa Hastings (San Antonio, Texas/Sam Houston HS) with 10 points.
Texas did most of its damage on the free throw line and in points off turnovers. The Longhorns connected on 40 of 51 foul shots (67 percent). Latvia went to the foul line 31 times, converting 27 foul shots (87 percent). In points off turnovers, Texas held a dominating 37-10 edge in that category. Top free throw shooters for Texas were Williams (11-12), Schreiber (7-8) and Jackson (9-12).
The Texas defense also forced 32 TTT Riga turnovers, as UT had 15 steals. UT finished the game shooting 41.3 percent from the floor, while TTT Riga made 33.3 percent of its shots. The Longhorns dominated on the boards as well (38-26).
At the half, the Longhorns led, 48-26, paced by 12 points from Jackson and 11 from Williams. Texas scored 21 of its 48 halftime points off turnovers. Both teams were cold from the floor in the first half. UT hit just 36.4 percent of its field goals in the period, making 12 of 33, while TTT Riga connected on 39.1 percent (9-23).
Down 17-16 with 10:14 to go, Texas regained the lead and never relinquished it with a 17-5 run over the next 5:45 and pulled ahead by 11, 33-22, on two Schreiber free throws with 4:29 remaining. Williams sparked the run by scoring 11 of the 17 points as she had two layups and went seven-for-eight from the foul line in the run. Texas pulled away in the final four-plus minutes, holding TTT Riga to four points on one-for-five shooting from the floor and two free throws. The Latvians also turned the ball over four times in the final 3:15.
In the second half, Texas upped its shooting percentage to 46.7 percent (making 14 of 30 shots), while limiting the Latvians to 25 percent shooting, as TTT Riga made just four field goals in 16 attempts.
The Longhorns close out their two-game exhibition schedule with the win. Last week, UT topped Division III Trinity University, 95-37. TTT Riga finishes its exhibition swing through the Midwest and Southwest with a 1-5 mark.
Texas will open regular season play this weekend when it hosts the State Farm Tip-Off Classic at the Erwin Center. The four-team doubleheader annually is the traditional kickoff of the Division I women's basketball season.
Sunday, No. 3 LSU faces No. 8 Baylor in a 12:20 p.m. Erwin Center game, while Texas meets No. 21 Penn State at 3 p.m., with both games televised live on ESPN2.
Tickets for the State Farm Tip-Off Classic can be purchased at TexasBoxOffice.com or at the UT Athletics Bellmont Ticket Office (Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. CT). The UT ticket office numbers are (800) 982-BEVO or (512) 471-3333. Additionally, tickets may be purchased during business hours at the Erwin Center Box Office or prior to the game. The Erwin Center Box Office is at Red River and MLK (hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. CT; game days one hour prior to tip-off).
We haven't established our personality yet. IT will take some time for that to evolve."
On the play of Mercedes Williams and Tiffany Jackson ...
On playing 13 players against TTT Riga ...
We are just not as good a basketball team when we don't have Kala (Bowers) available. What's important right now is to get this (intestinal irritation of Bowers) under control and be cautious. Kala is so anxious get back into practice. She's doing a great job on the sidelines, cheering, but we are hopeful that she will be able to play at little on Sunday (against Penn State). Her strength is not very good right now, which affects her endurance."
Sophomore forward Tiffany Jackson
Senior forward Mercedes Williams
About facing Penn State in the season opener on Sunday ...