AUSTIN, Texas -- Senior forward Tiffany Jackson and sophomore guard Erika Arriaran combined for 40 points, with Jackson logging a game-high 21 and Arriaran following with 19, to lift the No. 22 Texas women's basketball team to a 75-44 victory over UT-Pan American Wednesday night in front of 4,307 at the Frank Erwin Center.
The win was the fourth in a row for the Longhorns, now 7-1. Texas, which shot 50 percent from the field, remains unbeaten at home to start the year with a 7-0 mark. UT-Pan American, limited to 29.4 percent shooting from the field, drops to 3-7. The UTPA game concluded UT's four-game homestand, the longest of the regular season for the Horns.
The Longhorns' 50 percent shooting accuracy from the floor marked the third game in a row that UT has shot over 50 percent from the field. UT hit 28 of 56 shots, including a sizzling 64 percent in the final half. The Lady Broncs made just 15 of 51 attempted field goals.
Arrriaran went five-for-nine from 3-point range, notching a career-high in made 3-pointers and moving into the No. 10 spot in UT career 3-pointers made. She now has 58 treys in her Longhorns career, surpassing Kala Bowers, who finished her career (2001-05) with 56 3-pointers.
Joining Jackson (Dallas, Texas) and Arriaran (Norco, Calif.) in double-figure scoring was sophomore post Ashley Lindsey. Lindsey, from Austin and nearby Connally High School, had a career-high tying 15 points on seven-for-nine shooting. Lindsey also had a game-best six blocks, which also tied her career high.
At the half, Texas held the 10-point advantage (32-22) as neither team shot well in the first 20 minutes, with Texas converting 38.7 percent of its shots (12 of 31) and UTPA making 37.5 percent of its field goals (9 of 24).
The difference was in turnovers and points of turnovers, as the Longhorns held a 13-2 edge in points off turnovers. The Lady Broncs committed 15 turnovers in the first 20 minutes to UT's nine. Texas also had a 7-2 edge in first-half steals.
Texas jumped out to leads of 11-0 and led 23-7 nine minutes into the contest, as Jackson had eight points and Arriaran had five in the first nine minutes. The Lady Broncs closed the gap to 10 points at intermission, 32-22, by out-scoring the Longhorns 11-4 in the final 7:26 of the half, led by five points each by Aleeya Grigbsy and LaKeisha Gray.
In the second half, Texas immediately extended its lead, out-scoring the Lady Broncs 19-7 in the first 10-plus minutes, and held a 51-29 lead after an Arriaran jumper with 9:32 left. In the 19-7 run, Jackson netted seven points, Lindsey had five points, two rebounds and three blocks, while Arriaran added five points and an assist.
Texas out-rebounded the Lady Broncs, 37-27 and finished with a season-high 10 blocks. UT dominated the play inside, out-scoring UTPA in the paint by a 30-18 margin. UT also converted 22 points off UTPA turnovers, as the Lady Broncs finished with 24 turnovers. Texas turned the ball over 18 times.
UT-Pan American had two players in double-figure scoring, as Gray finished with 15 and Grigsby with 11.
Texas now hits the road for just the second time this year, traveling to Durham, N.C. for a matchup against No. 4 Duke on Sunday, Dec. 10. That game tips at noon (Central time). It will be televised on ESPNU, broadcast via the radio in Central Texas on KVET 1300 AM and will be available via internet audio at subscription-based Yahoo!College Sports (at www.TexasSports.com).
One week later, Texas is at home against No. 6 Tennessee on Sunday, Dec. 17 in an FSN-televised game at 12:30 p.m. from the Erwin Center.
For the second year in a row, the Longhorns will play Duke and Tennessee in back-to-back games - and, for the second year, UT is the only team in the nation to meet these two top-ranked teams in back-to-back contests. There is only one other team (outside of the SEC or ACC conferences) which faces both Duke and Tennessee this year in non-conference games - Old Dominion.
Texas Head Coach Jody Conradt
Her general statement: We were crisp and sharp to start, and then I subbed. We got lackadaisical and then got sloppy. We got erratic at the end of the first half and were playing pop-a-shot at the end of the first half. I think we showed our immaturity a bit tonight. UT-Pan American was a team that played hard all the way through and executed, and we had to stay on task. I thought we stepped up in the second half and played the way we should have.
The number of assists we had went up significantly in the second half. We had 13 in the second half, and that showed that our ball movement was much better and that we were looking for the open player.
We had a short rotation tonight. Katrina (Robinson) was not available, due to her knee situation. Crystal Boyd stepped on someone's foot in practice and rolled an ankle, but both she and Katrina should be OK on the weekend. I chose to hold Earnie Williams out tonight, as she needed an opportunity to recover so she can play over the weekend as well. Some of our younger people are expecting to play, but practice effort dictates playing time. That's really one of the things that effects young players, as they all think, we will get our turn. But, that caught up with them tonight. As coaches, we know that there is correlation between how they practice and how they will then play. I felt as if we needed our experienced players on the floor. I wanted to send a message - be solid on the floor. That was what Ashley (Lindsey) was for us tonight - solid in her all-around game. Ashley has been playing really well in practice. I was glad to see her play aggressive out there tonight. And, I also thought Gabby Mattox also was solid out there in her minutes. She did a nice overall job for us as well.
On the play of redshirt freshman point guard Carla Cortijo: Obviously, we are a better team when Carla is on the floor. She has a wonderful feel for the game. She keeps the tempo up and makes good decisions. We have to be able to play quick and under control to be successful, and Carla gives us that. She doesn't look to shoot a lot, but as I look at the stat sheet tonight, I see where she was four-for-four from the floor. She is becoming more confident in her shooting ability, and we need that from her, as well.
On getting ready to face No. 4 Duke on Sunday (Dec. 10) at Duke before coming home to face No. 6 Tennessee (Dec. 17): We need all hands on deck for Sunday. I wish we could take this nice Erwin Center crowd with us as well. It is going to be a real test for us to go on road - for just the second time this year -- and play an experienced team like Duke. We need to go in with the attitude that it can be anyone's game if we play as well as we can.
We have to be poised Sunday at Cameron. If we stay poised and work hard, then we can be competitive. If we let the away crowd, the team we are playing and the anxiety take away our poise, then we will be in trouble. I feel like we can be competitive. Let's go and see what we are all about. It's time.
Texas senior forward Tiffany Jackson
On facing the double-team pressure: The double-team is something I expect to see. Tonight, it gave me a chance to work against a double-team, to work on passing it out pass it out to the perimeter players and to work on all those things in the post that a double-team presents you with.
For us tonight, at times we struggled to finish some easy shots. We have to realize that every shot is important and we need to value every possession -- especially the easy shots, because we are not going to always get them.