No. 19 Women's Basketball stops North Texas, 69-49, behind game highs from Jackson
AUSTIN, Texas -- Junior Tiffany Jackson logged her second double-double of the year with game-highs of 29 points and 16 rebounds, while senior guard Nina Norman added 11 points and seven rebounds, as No. 19 Texas (5-3) posted a 69-49 win over North Texas Sunday at the Frank Erwin Center.
Texas limited North Texas to 25.4 percent shooting overall, as the Mean Green, now 7-2, had their five-game win streak snapped with the loss. North Texas made just seven field goals in the second half as it shot seven-for-37 (19 percent) from the floor in the final 20 minutes. UT out-scored the Mean Green 37-24 in the final half. The 49 points by North Texas were the Mean Green's second-lowest point total of the year and the second lowest point total by a Texas opponent on the season.
The 6-3 Jackson (Dallas, Texas/Duncanville HS) tied her career high with the 16 boards, and she also added game-bests of four blocks and game-high tying five steals in 38 minutes of play. She also tied her season-high in blocks and steals. Jackson was nine-for-17 from the floor and 9-for-10 in free throws.
Jackson and Norman were followed in the Longhorns scoring column by freshman guard Crystal Boyd who finished with nine points (tying her season best).
After UNT scored the first basket of the game, Texas never trailed again. The Longhorns led at intermission, 32-25, behind 12 points and eight boards from Jackson. The Mean Green was hurt by a 3-12 start in shooting and 11 turnovers in the first 11:20 of the game, as Texas built a 17-6 lead. North Texas cut the deficit to five twice in the half. Neither team shot well in the period, with Texas hitting just 35 percent of its shots (12-34) and UNT making 36 percent of its shots (8-22). The difference was in turnovers, with UNT turning the ball over 14 times in the half with Texas out-scoring the Mean Green in points off turnovers by a 17-4 margin.
To start the second half, Texas turned the ball over and North Texas cut the lead to five, 32-27, on a Mian Williams steal and layup 12 seconds into the period. That was the closest the Mean Green would get, however, as Texas steadily built its lead and lead by 14, 53-39, on a Norman steal and fastbreak bucket with 10:09 to play. UNT countered with a Natalie Mireles 3-pointer one play later, but two free throws by Longhorn post Katrina Robinson pushed the lead to 13, 55-42.
The closest the Mean Green would get down the stretch was 10 points (58-48) on a Mia Ajekwu jumper with 6:08 to play. Texas then went on a 8-0 run over the next 3:01, behind a Jackson jumper and two free throws, and pushed the lead to 18, 66-48, when Boyd scored a layup with 3:07 remaining.
North Texas was led by eight points apiece from Wali and freshman guard Sanetra Jackson, while sophomore post Talicia Sanders had seven points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
Texas out-rebounded UNT by a 51-41 margin. UT dominated scoring in the paint by a 40-18 margin. The Longhorns committed 25 turnovers and had 10 blocks and 16 steals, while North Texas made 27 turnovers and had 15 steals and two blocks. Texas finished the game holding a 30-12 margin in points off turnovers.
Texas closes out its four-game homestand - the longest of the season - on Wednesday, Dec. 21 when it hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in a 7 p.m. Game at the Erwin Center. The game ticket promotion is a "Holiday Special", where fans who buy two general admission tickets and get one general admission ticket free.
Tickets may be purchased in many ways: via TexasBoxOffice.com or by calling 512-471-3333 or 1-800-982-BEVO. For charge-by-phone, you can call 512-477-6060. Tickets can be purchased in person at the following locations: Bellmont Hall Athletics Ticket Office (Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m-4 p.m. Central); and at any Texas Box Office location, including the Frank Erwin Center (Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and game days prior to tipoff) or at Austin area H-E-B stores.
Following the TAMUCC game, Texas breaks for the Christmas holiday and returns to action with a three-game road swing, beginning at No. 7 Rutgers on Friday, Dec. 30 (6 p.m. Central) in a CSTV-televised game.
It was painful not to be able to separate ourselves from North Texas. That was because of our inconsistency on offense and the fact that North Texas is a good team. They came in with great confidence, and they definitely came in thinking they could win this game. The good thing for our young players to learn from today's game is that, it's game after game like this the rest of the way. We have to juggle the lineup and have some of our players go limited minutes with the injuries. I know that we have to get ready in three days to play a very strong Texas A&M-Corpus Christi team. We've got to figure out how to strap it on and get ready to battle consistently.
Offensively, we start, then stutter and sputter. With the exception of Tiffany's (Jackson) play today, which was outstanding, we just could not be consistent enough and run the offense smoothly.
Singling out the play of individual Longhorns: Well, Tiffany had a great game for us, even though she is not 100 percent healthy. She has a chronic ankle problem, and that limits her practice time. The great thing about Tiffany, however, is that when she is able to play, she comes aggressively to play. As aggressive and competitive as they (North Texas) were on the floor, we really needed her. Tiffany is going to play hard every time down the court and play the very best she can. She and Nina (Norman) won't probably be 100 percent healthy at any time this season, but I always know that they will give you 100 percent on the floor.
We got some good minutes from (freshman) Crystal Boyd today. We know she is explosive offensively, but what's kept her out of the games is that she needs to do things on the defensive end of the floor. In that regard, today was encouraging. Hopefully her performance today will inspire her to keep playing hard.
And, we've moved Daria (Mieloszynska) to the "4" a while back, with the injury situation. I really like Daria's energy. When she gets on the court, it is always hard and energetic play that we get from her. I want so badly for her to make plays offensively and get confidence in her game. She will get playing time as we continue, and hopefully she will be more calm on the offensive end and finish things. We need her out there.
Junior Tiffany Jackson
On her performance: At the beginning of the game, I was mad at myself because I started out passive. I was too worried about where the double (double-team) was coming from. But, I credit my teammates for really getting me involved. Our other posts set good screens for me all game long, and those screens helped me get some good, close shots. The guards were getting me the ball in really good spots. We knew that North Texas was very competitve and going in, I knew I had to match their competitiveness.
North Texas Head Coach Tina Slinker
As far as Jackson went, offensively her rebounding was really tough and she was great at getting second shots. In transition, we also struggled to slow her down. We were paying a lot of attention to other players - especially their 3-point shooter, No. 4 (Erika Arriaran). The answer for us would have been getting the job done on our offensive end. If we had been able to do anything on our offensive end, we would have been OK and would have given Jackson her points. But, without good offense, Jackson has a strong game, and Norman had a good game, then Boyd came in and broke us down.