Women's Basketball falls to Virginia, 86-83, in first round of Wahine Classic
HONOLULU -- Sophomore guard Monica Wright (23 points) and junior center Aisha Mohammed (22 points) combined for 45 points and 16 rebounds, to lift the Virginia women's basketball team to an 86-83 victory over No. 21 Texas Friday in the first round of the Jack in the Box Wahine Classic.
Texas, now 2-2, will face Kentucky, also 2-2, in second-round Wahine Classic consolation action on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 5:10 p.m. (Central). The Wildcats lost their first-round game Friday evening to Minnesota, 92-80. The tourney is an eight-team, three-day competition at Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawaii campus, and concludes with Sunday's final round.
Minnesota (6-0) moves into championship semifinal play to face Virginia (4-2) Saturday.
The Longhorns were hurt by turnovers (25), as UVa scored 28 points off UT's turnovers.
Texas trailed by 11 (57-46) with 13:56 to go before chipping away at the Cavaliers lead. With 1:46 to play, UT took the lead for only the second time in the game, 77-76, when point guard Carla Cortijo converted on two of three free throws when she was fouled attempting a three-pointer.
Texas had trimmed a 68-61 Virginia lead (at the 8:19 mark) and taken the one-point lead with a 17-9 run, capped by Cortijo's free throws and triggered by eight points from Williams.
The final 1:46 turned into a free throw contest, with Texas converting five of seven foul shots and Virginia making seven of nine free throws.
Up 78-77, Texas fouled Virginia's Paulisha Kellum on the next trip down the floor, and Kellum hit the second of her two free throws to knot the game at 78-78 with 1:27 remaining.
After a UT turnover on the next Longhorn possession, Kellum again was fouled and sank both free throws to give Virginia the lead for good, 80-78, with 57 seconds left. Kellum then picked off a UT pass, as the Longhorns turned the ball over on a second consecutive possession, and she missed her ensuing fastbreak layup attempt. On the scramble for the rebound, however, Wright was fouled and converted one of two free throws for an 81-78 Cavalier edge.
UT freshman Kristen Nash was fouled on the next possession, and she sank one of two free throws to cut the lead to two (81-79) with 28 seconds left. Kellum again was fouled, made one shot for an 82-79 edge. Texas did not convert on its next trip and the game was sealed when Cavalier reserve Kelly Hartig scored her only basket of the game on a layup for an 84-79 lead with nine seconds left.
Down the stretch, Hartig hit a free throw and UT's Aubry Cook made two of her own with one second left for the final three-point margin of victory for the Cavaliers.
The Longhorns trailed 41-34 at intermission, due to Virginia's strong inside play which found the Cavaliers scoring 28 points off field goals, with 24 of those points coming in the paint. The Cavaliers, who shot 50 percent from the floor in the half, also added 13 points from the free throw line in the first half, going 13-for-17 from the line. In contrast, the Longhorns went to the line seven times in the first 20 minutes, netting five free throws.
There were 25 turnovers in the first half, with UT making 12 and the Cavaliers having 13. Texas shot just 39 percent in the first half overall, but kept the game tight with a five-for-six effort from 3-point range. Kat Nash hit all three of her 3-point attempts in the period.
For the game, Texas had four players in double-figure scoring, as Erneisha Bailey chipped in with 12 points. Top rebounder for the Longhorns was junior post Ashley Lindsey who contributed seven rebounds and eight points.
Texas, already with just a nine-player roster of healthy players, had three of its starters foul out late in the game (Lindsey, Bailey and Kat Nash).
Mohammed, who more than doubled her scoring average as she came into the game averaging 11.0 points per game, also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds and had a game-best four steals for Virginia.
Texas held a slight 32-30 edge in rebounding. Texas finished the game making 21 of 26 free throws, while Virginia went to the line 40 times, connecting on 28 foul shots.
For the game, the Longhorns shot 46 percent (28-61), as they improved their shooting in the second period to 53 percent. Virginia finished the game hitting 53 percent of its shots (29-55).
Jack in the Box Wahine Classic, Honolulu, Hawaii
First-Round Results- Friday, Nov. 23
Day Two Schedule - Saturday, Nov. 24
We hit important free throws at the end of the game after Texas came back strong. They used a zone defense to stop us for a while in the second half, but I like how we responded at the end of the game.
TEXAS HEAD COACH Gail Goestenkors
There was a really good balance of play today for Virginia. They have lots of weapons. (Alisha) Mohammed did a great job of finishing all game long. We struggled defensively, until the later part of the game when we really attacked on both ends of the floor.
That's exactly what I told my team in the locker room after the game - we should have showed the fight we had in the second half all game long. We played the final 20 minutes with passion and intensity, but we have to start every game with that type of focus and drive.
In the last 10 minutes, we would close the gap, and even took the lead. But, turnovers really hurt us again and again. Every time we'd have a good defensive stand, we'd go down and turn the ball over. That's tough to overcome against a quality opponent when you do that.
FRESHMAN GUARD Kathleen Nash (team-high 18 points, three rebounds, three steals)
But, we were frazzled at times and had too many turnovers. And, you cannot control everything that happens out there, but you can control turnovers.
On my charge call (with Texas down 77-74 with 3:36 to play), I felt like I was hit hard on my drive and after I did a spin move, but that's not what the ref saw, and that was my fourth foul. We needed to not be in the hole that we got ourselves in to begin with, because we found ourselves scrambling in the end of the game.
EARNESIA WILLIALMS (15 points, five rebounds)