AUSTIN, Texas -- The No. 25 ranked Longhorns used a 15-3 run to start the second half, and behind a game-high 21 points, eight rebounds and four steals from senior Tiffany Jackson, registered a 79-40 women's basketball victory over Oral Roberts Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center.
The win moves Texas to 5-1 and improves UT's homecourt win streak to five games. Nine of the 10 Longhorns who saw action scored, as sophomore guard Erika Arriaran netted 11 points and junior guard Erneisha Bailey produced her second double-double of the year with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. The Longhorns connected on 52 percent of its field goals, making 29 of 56 shots.
Oral Roberts, now 4-1, came into the game averaging 84.2 points per game. The Golden Eagles, who committed 29 turnovers, were off to their best start in 22 years. The loss denied ORU a chance for the fourth 5-0 start in program history. ORU's top scorer, 6-3 sophomore Jenny Hardin (11 points), was held to nine points below her average of 19.8 ppg, and its second-leading scorer, 6-2 senior Elisha Turek (16.8 ppg) had six points.
The stingy Texas defense also helped the Longhorns to out-rebound the Golden Eagles by a 39-27 margin. In addition, Texas dominated in points off turnovers, scoring 29 points off ORU turnovers, while the Golden Eagles had six points off UT turnovers. In fastbreak points, the Longhorns held a 25-2 margin as well.
ORU was limited to 34.8 percent shooting, including a 25 percent accuracy (7-28) in the second half.
Texas used a balanced scoring effort in the win. In addition to the three players in double-figure scoring, redshirt freshman forward Earnesia Williams and freshman guard Brittainey Raven each added nine points. Redshirt freshman point guard Carla Cortijo added eight points and a game-high six assists, which also tied her season best in assists. Sophomore post Ashley Lindsey also scored eight points. Jackson and Lindsey both added three blocks.
Leading by nine at intermission (31-20), Texas began the second half with a 9-0 run, pushing the lead to 20, 40-20, on a Williams 12-foot jumper from the wing off a fastbreak with 16:37 to play. Four different players scored for the Longhorns in that opening run.
The Golden Eagles cut the lead to 17, 40-23, on a Sarah Davidson 3-pointer with 16:21 to go, but that was the closest ORU would get the rest of the way. Texas then scored the next six points on two Brittainey Raven free throws and two jumpers by Jackson, to push the lead to 23 (46-23) with 13:43 remaining.
At the half, Texas led 31-20, on the strength of 52.2 percent shooting, a solid transition game and strong defense. The Golden Eagles, who also were hot from the floor (9-for-18 for 50 percent shooting), turned the ball over 15 times, however, in the first period. Those turnovers included four shot clock violations. In the first 20 minutes, Texas held a 15-4 edge in points off turnovers and had a commanding edge in fast-break points (13-2).
Seven different players scored for the Longhorns in the first period, led by six points each from Williams and Cortijo.
The Longhorns made 12 of 23 first-half shots from the floor and went six-for-eight in free throws, while Oral Roberts was one of two from the foul line.
With the game tied at 11-11, the Longhorns outscored the Golden Eagles 20-9 in the final 10 minutes of play, led by six points from Williams and five by Arriaran. In that final 10-minute span, Oral Roberts was held to four field goals in 10 attempts while committing eight turnovers. In contrast, Texas made nine of its 10 shots in the final 10 minutes, with eight of UT's points coming off fast break opportunities.
ORU was paced by point guard Mariana Camargo (13 points) and Hardin's 11 points.
Texas continues its four-game homestand when it returns to action on Thursday, Nov. 30 against Southern University at the Erwin Center (7 p.m. Central tip). This will be the third of four straight home games for the Longhorns. It will air live on KVET Radio (1300 AM) in the Central Texas area and can be viewed on the internet on the subscription-based TexasSports.TV video stream, found at www.TexasSports.com.
Tickets (season, single game, group and mini-packs) for all Texas Basketball games are available for purchase in the following ways: online at TexasBoxOffice.com; by phone at 800-982-BEVO or 512-471-3333; at the Erwin Center Box Office during business hours and one hour prior to tipoff on game day; and at the UT Athletics Ticket Office in Bellmont Hall (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CT).
· The 5-1 start for Texas is the Longhorns' best start since going 7-0 to start the 2003-04 campaign.
· With its season-high 51.8 percent shooting against Oral Roberts, Texas has now shot over 50 percent twice in the last four games - the first two times this year; in fact, last year, the Longhorns only shot 50 percent or higher in one game - against Nebraska (Jan. 18)
· Season-highs in points were reached Saturday in the Oral Roberts game by freshman Brittainey Raven (9 points) and redshirt freshman point guard Carla Cortijo, who had eight points
· UT senior forward Tiffany Jackson has been in double-figure scoring all six games, and is averaging a double-double in points and rebounds with her averages of 21.0 ppg and 10.7 rpg.
· By going 5-for-9 in free throws, Jackson moved into the No. 4 career spot in Texas free throws made .. She now has 375 made free throws in her career, surpassing All-America guard Edwina Brown for the No. 4 spot... Brown made 373 from 1996-2000...the nO. 3 spot is held by Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil who made 415 from 1985-89.
· Jackson also leads the squad in steals with 21 through six games, and is two thefts shy of moving into a tie for the No. 9 career position in Texas steals ... She has 254 in her career; ninth-place is held by Beverly Williams (256, 1984-88) and eighth-place is just three steals away, as Brown had 257 in her career ... The No. 7 spot is held by Kamie Ethridge (1982-86) who finished with 278 steals.
Head Coach Jody Conradt
Her general statement: We played some defense this week in practice and it paid off for us today, didn't it? Oral Roberts has been averaging 80-plus points and they just got half of that today, and I am pleased with our effort out there. Not much for me to be upset about after the way we played today. Oral Roberts is a hard team to guard. They remind me of Iowa State in their movement and screening. They came in undefeated for a reason. They execute really well, but today, we were disruptive and got it going. As long as we practice the way we did in preparation for this game, we will be pretty good.
We refused to back down. They tried to attack us with penetration, which is exactly what I would have done after watching the way we played defense in the second half Monday night against Sam Houston State. But, I am proud of the way we responded. We caused a lot of turnovers and turned them into points with a good transition game.
On the performances of individual players: You just cannot give Tiffany (Jackson) too many accolades for the way she is playing so far. There was one stretch today where she really took it to them, and it felt like she scored 10, 12 buckets in a row! She is just playing great for us, and is coming into her own. She's been the anchor for us. No way can I say enough positive things about how she is playing right now.
I thought Earnie Williams picked up her defense, and Ashley Lindsey had the game we have been expecting from her. Brittainey Raven made significant improvement from Monday's game to today. I want to complement both Earnie Williams and Erika Arriaran for their defensive efforts today. They got into some trouble from me for their defense the other night. But today, both were disciplined. We are starting to show that we can be a team with depth. I am excited to be getting a few other players back into our rotation. That will help us get deeper.
Freshman redshirt point guard Carla Cortijo: We knew playing good defense would be the key today. As Coach (Conradt) said, they came in scoring 80 points per game, and we were able to hold them to half that. We've had really hard practices the last few days and focused on defense. On offense, I really like to push the ball, and I could do that tonight. We have a lot of speed on this team, with players like Brittainey (Raven) and Tiffany (Jackson). I love to run and push the ball to score, and we did that today.
Oral Roberts Head Coach Jerry Finkbeiner
His general statement: In the first half, we got down by 11 at the break, but we thought we were in OK shape. Eleven points didn't worry us, and our point guard, who we think is a great player, Mariana Camargo, had nine turnovers, and we did not expect her to do that in the second half. But, we had a false sense of security. When the second half started, we were over-whelmed by Texas. Our game plan fell through the floor.
Credit Texas - at four of the five positions, they have players quicker and more athletic than we do. Our two best shooters did not shoot well tonight and we were not getting open - again, credit Texas. We don't play teams like Texas every day. We are not used to this pressure "D" and long-armed defenders.
On how Texas jumped out to the 15-3 run to start the second half: I think we over-coached and slowed it down too much at the end of the first half and to start the second half. We handcuffed our players and put them to sleep out there, because we were concerned in slowing down the tempo and keeping the score low. Then, it became a worst-case nightmare in terms of their outside shooting against us. We have respect for Erika Arriaran, for what she's done here and how good she was in high school, but the other guards were unknown to us, statistically. They had not shot the way they did today. They came out in the second half and started hitting those 15-foot, 18-foot shots and that softened our defense up, and opened up room for a player like Jackson.