No. 19 Women's Basketball rolls to 77-56 win over Stephen F. Austin
AUSTIN, Texas -- Led by a balanced scoring attack with junior forward Tiffany Jackson scoring a season-high and game-high 19 points, the No. 19 Texas women's basketball team posted a 77-56 victory over Stephen F. Austin Thursday night in front of 4,333 at the Frank Erwin Center. Texas limited the LadyJacks to just 23.3 percent shooting, as SFA connected on only 17 of its 73 field goal attempts.
Texas, now 4-3, snapped a two-game losing streak, as both losses were to the nation's top-ranked teams - Tennessee and Duke. The Longhorns were paced by a game-high and season-high 19 points from junior forward Tiffany Jackson (Dallas, Texas/Duncanville HS) while freshman guard Erika Arriaran (Norco, Calif./Norco HS) added 14 points. UT freshman post Ashley Lindsey registered her first collegiate double-double with 12 points and a career and game-high 13 rebounds. Lindsey (Austin, Texas/Pflugerville Connally HS) was making her first career start and also had a game and career-high six blocked shots.
Texas, which held the edge in team height, out-rebounded the LadyJacks by a 53-43 margin and had a season-high 11 blocks. Those 11 blocks tie for the fourth-best single game blocks effort in UT history. The Longhorns also held a dominating 36-12 edge in points in the paint.
Stephen F. Austin ended its three-game win streak, and is now 4-4 on the year. Of SFA's 17 made field goals, eight of them were from 3-point range. Senior guard LaToya Mills, who had entered the game as SFA's leading scorer 18.6 ppg) and ranked sixth nationally in field goal shooting (68 percent), was held to 11 points and shot just 3-for-16 from the floor.
Texas never trailed in the game, and the contest had just one tie (2-2). Leading 14-9 with 11:56 to play, the Longhorns went on a 12-0 run over the next 3:39 to push the lead to 17, 26-9, on a Lindsey layup with 8:07 remaining. In that 12-0 run, five different players scored for Texas, while SFA missed eight shots and had two turnovers.
In the first 15 minutes of the game, the LadyJacks connected on just three of their first 28 shots, with two of them 3-point jumpers, and turned the ball over eight times.
Texas led at intermission, 32-17, behind eight points and nine boards from Lindsey. Texas dominated inside, out-scoring the LadyJacks 18-4 in the paint in the first 20 minutes. Neither team shot well in the first half, as the Longhorns made 38 percent of their shots, hitting on 14 of 37 field goal attempts, while SFA was limited to 11 percent shooting (4-of-36). UT held a 31-24 edge in rebounding as well in the half.
In the second half, the Longhorns pushed its 15-point halftime lead to its largest lead of the game (28 points), 56-28 with 10:53 to go on two free throws by freshman post Aubry Cook.
For the game, the Longhorns shot 43 percent, making 27 of 63 shots. Texas went 22 for 30 from the foul line, led by Jackson who was nine-for-10 from the charity stripe.
Leading the LadyJacks were a trio of seniors: guard Britany Vinson (15 points), guard Kirby Killingsworth (11 points) and Mills (11). Vinson also had eight rebounds.
SFA was 14-for-18 in free throws and eight-for-19 in 3-pointers. Both teams had eight steals. UT turned the ball over 18 times and SFA had 16 turnovers.
The Longhorns will now break for the fall semester final examination period. Texas returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 18 when it hosts North Texas at 2 p.m. (Central) at the Frank Erwin Center.
On the other hand, I was pleased that the post players performed well. I thought Ashley (Lindsey) had a good night, and Aubry (Cook) had some key baskets. We need that type of performance from Ashley. We need her to keep working on her offensive skills. She has excellent defensive abilities, but we need her offensive presence in our offensive sets. You saw Daria out there playing the "four" some for us tonight, a new position for her, and Katrina Robinson gave us good minutes. It will be, as I have said, post play by committee this year.
Give credit to Stephen F. Austin. They are really scrappy and much-improved, and have been competitive in every game they have played.
Why Texas was so dominant inside all night long: First, we had the size advantage, and I also think Ashley and Tiffany were having an individual contest to see who could get the most blocks tonight. But, controlling the post was one of the best things we did tonight. Stephen F. Austin likes to run the floor, and we limited them on transition baskets. We let them loose on the baseline a few times, but controlled the penetration. One of our weaknesses was that we did not respond or contest their 3-point shots. That has got to get better.
On the status of freshman guard Carla Cortijo (who sat out the game): We are concerned about the status of Carla's (left) knee, on which she had ACL surgery before her senior season last year. Carla has felt a dramatic difference in last few days with that knee. There was no traumatic injury. You saw her play very well at Tennessee and against Duke on Sunday. We took the day off Monday and came back Tuesday and Carla said her knee really was not feeling right. To her, it feels loose and lax. She had a graft on her ACL, and sometimes those grafts become stretched or loosened. None of those are good scenarios, so we will see. She will be evaluated on Monday and get a second opinion. I hope we will have good news, but adversity is part of athletics. During these tough times with injuries, we need to tighten the circle and reach out to each other, and our team is doing that.
On what the next 10 days of a layoff will bring for the team: I know the team is thinking about finals and are focusing in on their studies right now, and I am thinking about consecutive days of practice. We will be balancing it all. This is a great time to evaluate where we are and what we need to do. I told the team in the locker room tonight that this 10-day period is where we need to make some progress. The Big 12 season is approaching rapidly. There is not going to be one breather game - we will have to fight for our lives in the leauge this year. Now, we have finals and two more games at home. Then, there's a top five team - Rutgers - waiting for us on their home court right after Christmas.
One of the things about this team that I've noticed is that we've certainly had some ups and downs, and been on a rollar-coaster, all the while doing a reasonably good job of settling in. We are going to have to get comfortable with competing on every possession. Every transition basket is going to be important, every offensive possession is going to be important, and every defensive stance we make is important.
Junior F Tiffany Jackson (season and game-high 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks)
Stephen F. Austin Head Coach Lee Ann Riley
We've been down by as many as 18 points and have come back to win this year. At halftime, I thought we firmly could come back. The only disappointing time frame was a three-to-four minute spurt in the second half where we were horrible and didn't compete and they poured it on. We came back and battled, however. (Ashley) Lindsey got some blocks, but that is supposed to happen, since she is 6-5 and should block some shots. We learned that when we play a bigger team inside, we cannot let them change our shots. You cannot alter your shots and think you will win.