No. 24 Women's Basketball Tops North Texas, 71-62
Dec. 17, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Chassidy Fussell scored 20 points and No. 24 Texas rallied after an early scare to beat North Texas 71-62 on Saturday night.
Chelsea Bass added 13 points in her first start of the season for the Longhorns (7-3), who remained undefeated against North Texas with the second-closest final score in the 35-year history of the series.
Laura McCoy scored 14 points as the Mean Green (7-5) fell to 2-2 against BCS conference opponents under first-year coach Karen Aston. Aston returned to Austin for the first time as a head coach after working as an assistant at Texas from 1998-2006. She received a standing ovation before the game.
North Texas held a 34-25 lead at intermission.
The Mean Green rattled off four 3-pointers after the break and led by as many as 11 before Texas went on a 30-9 run to take over the game.
Texas head coach Gail Goestenkors
Opening statement: I'm very happy to come away with a win. It was not a good half of basketball, that first half. I credit North Texas. They came out with a lot of energy, as we knew they would, and with great focus. They have a really nice team and they work hard. They have some losses, but they're all to really good teams. We found out Yvonne [Anderson] was going to be out right before the game, so we didn't have time to prepare with her not being in the lineup. With them pressing, I think we were uncomfortable with different people in different positions, but that is no excuse. I think we played flat in the first half. I'm proud of the resiliency we had in the second half. Some games you just have to find a way to win and I think that was the case today. In the second half, we started pressing a little bit and got a couple of steals, which I think got our momentum and our energy going.
On Texas' second-half defense: When we make great defensive plays, it gets our offense going. AG [Ashley Gayle], whenever she has those big blocks, that is huge for our emotion. Then, to have your post players taking a charge...the charge, to me, is the ultimate sacrifice for your team. We actually derive more energy from our great defensive plays than we do our offensive plays. To have those two plays back-to-back was important to us.
Sophomore guard Chassidy Fussell
On what sparked her second-half surge: I just had a mindset that we weren't about to lose this game. I just came out with the help of my teammates and we came together and pulled out a win.
Senior guard Ashleigh Fontenette
On the emotional swing in the second half: We were fighting back and we just needed to get over the hump. We had two great plays with a great pass from Nneka [Enemkpali] and then we just capitalized from there.