Women's Basketball defeats Oregon State, 65-64, at Surf N Slam Tournament
SAN DIEGO -- Behind a game-high 26 points from senior forward Tiffany Jackson and two free throws by freshman Niqky Hughes with 11 seconds to go, the Texas Longhorns erased a 13-point deficit in the second half and defeated the Oregon State Beavers, 65-64 late Thursday night in the first round of the Surf N Slam Tournament at the University of San Diego.
Jackson scored 22 of those 26 points in the final half, and led Texas back from a 13-point deficit (49-36) with 12:19 remaining. Texas outscored the Beavers 29-15 in the final 12 minutes, with Jackson accounting for 14 of those points and redshirt freshman forward Earnesia Williams adding five in the final 12 minutes of play.
With the win, the Longhorns move to 9-3 and advance to the Surf N Slam Tournament championship game on Saturday, Dec. 30 at 10 p.m. CT where they will face host San Diego. San Diego (10-2) defeated Holy Cross College, 76-53, in Thursday's other first-round game. Oregon State, now 4-6, will square off against Holy Cross (5-7) in the tourney's third-place game on Saturday at 8 p.m. CT.
The game was dramatic in the final 4:37, with four ties and five lead changes in that span.
With the game tied 61-61 with 1:17 to go, the Beavers took the lead on a free throw from Cedes Fox-Griffin. On UT's next possession, Jackson scored on a putback. OSU then scored on its next possession when leading scorer Casey Nash burst through a double-team trap on the baseline to score on a driving layup with two seconds left on the shot clock, to give the Beavers a 64-63 edge with 32 seconds left.
Following a timeout, Jackson missed a baseline jumper but Hughes came up with the offensive rebound and was fouled on the play with 11.5 seconds left.
Hughes, a 63 percent free throw shooter entering the game, stepped to the line and drilled both free throws to give UT the final lead, 65-64.
On OSU's possession, Fox-Griffin drove the length of the floor and into the paint where Jackson tied her up, and on the alternate possession, the Beavers kept control of the ball with 3.3 seconds left.
On the inbounds, Lomax got the ball inside but was stripped by Longhorns freshman point guard Carla Cortijo, who slapped the ball away and dribbled downcourt as time expired.
In total for the game, there were 12 lead changes and seven ties.
Nash, a 6-1 senior, came into the game ranked No. 10 nationally in scoring with a 21.3 ppg average. She finished with 25 points, but in the final eight minutes, scored just four points, as she was closely guard by Hughes down the stretch.
The victory for Texas marked the first road win of the year for the Longhorns who are now 1-2 away from Austin this year.
Joining Jackson in double-figure scoring was sophomore guard Erika Arriaran (11 points). Williams and junior guard Erneisha Bailey both added eight points. Hughes finished with six points and tied Jackson for the team lead in rebounding with seven boards each.
For the game, the Longhorns shot 38.8 percent -- but 46 percent in the final half. Texas made 26 of 67 shots, while OSU shot 46.2 percent (24-52). OSU held the edge in rebounding, 39-33, but was hurt by 25 turnovers. Texas turned the ball over just 13 times. The Longhorns were 10-for-11 from the foul line and the Beavers were 14-for-18 from the charity stripe.
The Longhorns trailed at the half, 29-24, as Texas was hurt by Oregon State's dominance in the paint. The Beavers held a 24-16 edge on the boards and outscored the Longhorns 16-8 in the paint in the first period. In addition, OSU -- which entered the game shooting 74 percent from the foul line -- went six-for-eight from the free throw stripe in the first half while Texas did not go to the free throw line at all.
There were three ties and seven lead changes in the first half. UT's last lead came at the 9:47 mark following an Arriaran 3-pointer from the wing which gave the Horns an 18-16 edge. Arriaran then followed with a jumper to push the UT lead to four (20-16) before OSU ran off an 11-4 run to lead by five, 27-22, after two Judie Lomax free throws with 2:42 to go.
It marked the first time this season that Texas had won a game in which it trailed at the half. In all three of UT's prior losses, the Longhorns had been down at the half.
In the San Diego-Holy Cross game, the Toreros (10-2) were paced by four players in double-figure scoring with 16 points from 6-5 sophomore post Amber Sprague and 15 from sophomore guard Kelly Winther. USD junior guard Amanda Rego just missed the first triple-double of her career, finishing with nine points and game-bests of 13 assists and 10 steals. The 10 steals were a Surf N Slam Tournament single game record, while the 13 assists were one shy of the tourney record.
After taking a 32-24 lead into intermission, USD used a shooting percentage of 62 percent in the final minutes to pull away from the Crusaders (5-7). San Diego made 16 of 26 field goal attempts in the final half and were 12-for-14 from the foul line in that period as well.
Holy Cross shot 42 percent for the game and was hurt by 25 turnovers. San Diego shot 54 percent and had 20 turnovers. The Toreros out-rebounded Holy Cross, 33-26 and had 20 steals to Holy Cross' five thefts.
Holy Cross had one player in double-figure scoring, as senior post Kaitlin Foley collected 16 points.
Saturday's game between Texas and San Diego will be the first meeting between these two schools in the sport of women's basketball.
Both the third-place and championship games on Saturday will have free live stats and subscription-based Internet video streaming. Once on the USD home page, click the LIVE button on the top right of the page. This subscription service will give you access to the live video. The cost for this service is $6.95 per day.
Games like this help a team grow up and gain confidence. I thought we played hard enough to win, and it paid off.
We showed some character tonight, coming back like we did. This win will help our team so much. It was really a team effort. Our whole team got focused offensively. We took some random shots in first half, but played with a purpose on offense in the second half.
The play of freshman forward Niqky Hughes, with key defense against OSU's top player Casey Nash and crucial offensive plays down the stretch: Yes, let's talk about the game from Niqky Hughes! She had the toughest assignment out there on the on court defensively when we told her to get out and defend Nash. She played many, many good minutes tonight. She is very very competitive and willed herself to hang in there. Because she had that will, she came up big for us.
Looking ahead to playing San Diego in the Surf N Slam championship game on Saturday (Dec. 30): San Diego is big and a real fundamentally strong team. They played well tonight. We will have to face a pretty big zone Saturday. We have not seen one for a while, but hopefully we'll be able to deal with that and win this thing.