Dec. 20, 2012
Final Stats |
AUSTIN, Texas -- Freshman center Imani McGee-Stafford posted a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double and the No. 20/23 Texas Women's Basketball team defeated Cornell, 53-40 on Thursday night at the Erwin Center. With the win, the Longhorns improve to 7-2 on the season.
McGee-Stafford registered her fourth double-double of the season, tying a career high in points and setting a new career high in rebounds. McGee-Stafford made her third start of the season, patrolling the paint for a career-high 34 minutes.
Texas used its height to control the interior throughout the game, scoring 26 points in the paint and outrebounding Cornell 48-28. Three different Longhorn players grabbed at least 10 rebounds, including sophomore forward Nneka Enemkpali (11), who leads the Big 12 in rebounding this season.
Junior guard Chassidy Fussell and McGee-Stafford led the Longhorns in the first half, each racking up seven points to give Texas the early 18-6 lead. Texas was then held scoreless for seven minutes as Cornell went on a 10-0 run to pull within two points. McGee-Stafford broke the dry spell with an offensive rebound and layup, sparking a 4-0 Texas run to close out the first half and sending the Longhorns into the locker room with a 22-16 lead.
Texas pulled away in the second half with an early 13-0 run to stretch the lead to 17. Redshirt freshman guard Brady Sanders led the effort, stuffing the stat sheet with career-highs in rebounds (eight) and steals (three) to go along with 10 second-half points and two assists in her first career start. Sanders logged a career-high 35 minutes, scoring in double-digits for the second time in three games.
Cornell (5-5) was led by Allyson DiMagno, who posted 13 points and seven rebounds in addition to two blocks and two steals. Clare Fitzpatrick added 10 points and Stephanie Long grabbed eight rebounds.
The Longhorns will take a brief holiday break before traveling to San Diego, Calif., to compete in the Maggie Dixon Surf `n Slam Classic. UT will take on Iowa on Friday, Dec. 28 at 10 p.m. Central and will play either Central Michigan or San Diego on Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. or 4 p.m.
-Tonight's game marked the first meeting between Texas and Cornell ... it was also the first time in program history the Longhorns took on an Ivy League opponent.
-The Longhorns held Cornell to 40 points, the second-fewest allowed by Texas in a game this season.
-In seven wins this season, the Longhorns have downed their opponents by an average of 26.1 points.
-Texas held a 48-28 advantage on the boards ... the Longhorns have outrebounded eight of its nine opponents this season and by an average of 18.9.
-The Longhorns controlled Cornell in the paint (28-10), in points off turnovers (24-17), second-chance points (13-2) and fast-break points (10-2).
-UT's 22 first-half points were the second-fewest scored by Texas in the opening stanza this season
-Posted her fourth double-double of the season, pulling down a career-high in rebounds (12) and matching her career high in points (20) in a career-most 34 minutes ... it was her second 20-plus game and her second time leading Texas in scoring this season.
-Started her first career game as a Longhorn, tallying a career-high eight rebounds and three steals to go with 10 points in a career-high 35 minutes ... it was the second time in three games that she reached double-figures in scoring and all 10 of her points came in the second half.
-Recorded her seventh double-digit rebounding effort of the season (11), in a career high-tying 33 minutes.
-Grabbed a season-high 10 and tied a season high in minutes (37).
-Dished out four assists with no turnovers and matched season high in points (six)
Anne Marie Hartung
-Has recorded at least one block (two tonight) in five of the last six games.
Head Coach Karen Aston
On not playing with intensity: I always predict energy levels of the way we perform in the game by the way that we practice. So no, I was not surprised at all today by our lack of energy and execution. This is a really young basketball team and they haven't really figured out that the way that you practice is the way that you play. I will say that the two sitting up here [Brady Sanders and Imani McGee-Stafford] had better practice days than some of the other players on our team. They are two of the ones that I thought carried over their positives individually from the Tennessee game.
On the 13-0 scoring spurt early in the second half: Well, we needed somebody with some energy and some enthusiasm and it wasn't a pleasant conversation at halftime. Immediately after coming out of halftime I thought Brady [Sanders] had responded from just a communication standpoint and made that steal and continued to stay positive and say positive things and keep the energy level up. That was very noticeable to me.
On the play of Imani McGee-Stafford: Her performance is showing that she is trying to improve. What I'm encouraged by with her is that she is starting to really think about the things that we are asking her to get better at and she's starting to apply them - even if it's just little things like footwork or how to run the offense. Again, I will repeat that these two up here I felt like tried to improve on the things that we found positive out of the Tennessee game and they tried to build on them, which is why they had good performances today.
R-Freshman G Brady Sanders
On sparking the team's play in the second half with a big steal: The whole game I felt like I needed to bring energy because we knew tonight that we're all going home after this game, so I needed to stay positive and talk and keep everyone engaged. When I got the steal, that was just responding from what the coaches had said at halftime. I felt that was a positive moment for us but not the only thing that got us going in the second half.
On conversation at halftime: It wasn't pleasant but that's what we needed. When we're not performing how we're supposed to [Coach Aston's] the person that has to step up and tell us what we needed to change and to get it in gear. We did not do that in the first half, but I felt like we picked it up in the second even though it wasn't to our full potential.
On starting her first game: Every day in practice I try to go hard and be the positive person. Starter or not starter, when I get in the game I just try to go as hard as I can and do the little things. It felt nice to actually get to run out in smoke tonight because that's what I've looked forward to since I was a little girl. It was a humbling experience to get to do that because coming off the bench is what I normally do. Starter or not starter, when you're out there, you just have to get the job done.
Freshman C Imani McGee-Stafford
On playing more comfortably: I'm definitely getting more comfortable. Just like what coach was saying, I'm trying to apply what they're telling me to do. I can't really go full out when I don't know what I'm doing. That's my problem is at practice and I ask questions because I just try to go as hard as I can. I'm learning as I go to play hard, even if it's wrong, just play hard through it and correct it as I go along. I'm just learning what I'm doing.
On Cornell being intimidated: I don't necessarily think they were intimidated, but their game plan was definitely to shoot. I would like to think that they were intimidated, but I don't think we did anything worthy of intimidation tonight.