Women's Basketball wins BTI Classic with 74-55 victory over Texas State
AUSTIN, Texas -- Senior forward Tiffany Jackson collected her second straight double-double with game-highs of 23 points and 12 rebounds and added a game-high six steals en route to tournament MVP honors, to lead No. 25 Texas to a 74-55 victory over intrastate opponent Texas State Tuesday in the final game of the Basketball Travelers Classic taking place at UT's Frank Erwin Center.
Texas won all three games in the three-day, four-team round-robin format to take the BTI Classic title, to improve to 3-0 on the young season. The Longhorns shot a season-best 50.8 percent from the floor, making 31 of 61 shots taken.
The Longhorns had three players in double-figure scoring, as Jackson (Dallas, Texas) was joined by junior guard Erneisha Bailey, who poured in a career-high 17 points to go with 10 rebounds, and freshman reserve guard Niqky Hughes (12 points). It was Bailey's third consecutive game of double-figure rebounding.
Both Bailey (Kansas City, Mo.) and Hughes (Waxahachie, Texas) were named to the six-member BTI Classic All-Tournament Team along with Jackson. Jackson ended the three-game tourney collecting a tourney-high 70 points, 31 rebounds, 10 assists and tourney-best 11 steals.
Texas State, which was held to 37.5 percent shooting, was paced by All-Tournament performer and junior guard Joyce Ekworomadu's 17 points.
The first half saw Texas take a 35-27 lead into intermission as Hughes and redshirt freshman Earnesia Williams had eight points apiece. The Bobcats cut the lead to six, 35-29, on an Ashley Riley jumper with 18:03 remaining.
The Longhorns then went on a tear, making a 21-8 run over the next 7:55 to lead by 19, 56-37, following two free throws from Hughes with 10:03 left.
The Bobcats could get no closer than 10 points down the stretch three times, cutting the UT lead to 62-52 on an Erika Putnam jumper with 5:17 on the clock. Texas then scored eight unanswered points, capped by a three-point play by Bailey (jumper and free throw) and a Jackson free throw to push the lead to 70-52 with three minutes to go.
Texas held the edge in rebounding (41-30) and dominated in the second-chance points (21-5) and points in the paint (40-20) categories.
The Bobcats had one other player in double figure scoring, as Ashley Riley scored 11 points.
Rounding out the BTI All-Tournament Team were junior guard Onna Charles (Louisiana-Lafayette) and junior center Kristi Veltkamp from Maryland-Eastern Shore.
In Tuesday's other final round game, the Ragin' Cajuns (2-1) posted an easy 68-36 victory over MES (0-4) behind 19 points and 10 boards from Charles.
Texas now hits the road for its first away game of the year. The Longhorns play at No. 23 New Mexico (1-2) at "The Pit" in Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday, Nov. 17 with an 8 p.m. CT tip. The game will be broadcast on the MountainWest Sports Network affiliate, "the mtn." The game also will be broadcast on KVET Radio (1300 AM) in Central Texas and via Internet audio at subscription-based Yahoo! Sports College Broadcast.
Basketball Travelers Classic All-Tournament Team
A lot of people contributed to our success. Erneisha Bailey and Katrina Robinson stepped up big. They have not gotten many minutes the past few years, but now you are seeing their commitment out there to do the little things to help us win. Ernie (Bailey) had a tremendous tourney, especially in rebounding and hustle plays. Katrina was solid defensively. The lessons from them are that you can help in so many ways to the success of a team.
Tiffany (Jackson) was the best Tiffany we've seen in her four years here. She is doing a tremendous job in leading the team and playing solid at both ends of the floor.
The unsung award in the tournament has to go to Erika Arriaran. She had to run the point the last two nights with the absence of Carla Cortijo, and they were in her shirt at every opportunity tonight, making her work hard on defense, in ball-handling, and when she spotted up for shots. I was surprised that she had the legs to do the things we needed her to do this tournament as we are guard-short. Erika managed to keep her head up and do what we needed her to do tonight. I know she's very frustrated with her shooting, but the fact that we required her to play so many minutes for us three nights in a row contributed to her dead legs out there.
On what she learned from these first three games: I think we have enough teaching tape to last the year in terms of these three games!
We are still not shooting very well. We are seeing ill-advised shots. It's not that we don't have confidence in our players' shooting ability, but they are pretty inexperienced and are rushing things. The worst shots you can take are the unexpected shots -- because no one on your team can react to that. We had a bunch of those in the tournament and we'll learn from that.
I am excited that our team personality is developing and that it will be about being an aggressive defensive team. We are finding our identity with good defense and hustle plays and everyone contributing. That is what we saw in these three games.
E-Bay (Bailey) has set that tone. She has the ability to do that. Niqky (Hughes) is competitive and she's figured out what to do to help our team -- rebounding and get hustle plays. Where to play her on the floor is the question. She has a nose for the ball, and is doing the same thing that Erneisha is doing -- finding a way to help the team.
Right now, we have to take advantage of our strengths offensively -- get the ball in Tiff's hands and play an inside-out type of game. We have a short window out there to get the ball inside to Tiffany. That is one of the things Katrina can do. She has a good basketball mind and she and Tiffany have a good basketball chemistry going. The guards as well have worked hard on ball distribution.
If we can push the ball -- and that's what Carla gives us, since she is terrific at putting head down and pushing the ball up the floor -- lets Erika move to the off-guard position where she can be a terrific shooter.
If we can hold people to less than 60 points a game, which is what we did in this tournament, we will have some success.