Women's Basketball wins Surf N Slam tourney with 73-45 victory over San Diego in title game
SAN DIEGO -- Senior forward Tiffany Jackson netted a game-high 20 points and had eight rebounds en route to earning tournament MVP honors, while redshirt freshman forward Earnesia Williams added a career-high 19 points, to lift The University of Texas women's basketball team to a 73-45 win over San Diego in the championship game of the Surf N Slam Tournament late Saturday night.
The win extends the Longhorns' win streak to three games as Texas improves to 10-3. The Longhorns are 6-2 in their last eight games and even their road record to 2-2 on the season as they break for the New Year's holiday. San Diego is now 10-3 on the year.
The four-team tourney took place at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the USD campus.
Texas dominated inside play, out-rebounding the Toreros 51-31 and scoring 55 points inside. Texas shot 46 percent for the game, and limited San Diego to 33 percent shooting accuracy. Texas also was solid from the foul line, going 10-for-13 in free throws, while USD was six-for-17 from the foul line.
In the third-place game Saturday night, Oregon State (5-6) snapped a five-game losing streak by defeating Holy Cross (5-8), 59-44. Texas had defeated Oregon State (65-64) and USD stopped Holy Cross (76-53) in Thursday's Surf N Slam first round games.
As MVP, Jackson had a two-game total of 46 points, 15 rebounds and six steals. Williams added two game totals of 27 points, 12 rebounds and two steals. They were the only UT players in double-figure scoring. Sophomore guard Erika Arriaran chipped in with seven points. Ten of the 11 players on the floor for the Longhorns scored in the game.
San Diego was led by Kelly Winther (11 points) and Amanda Rego (10 points, game-high six assists), both All-Tournament picks as well.
After taking a 20-point lead into intermission (41-21), Texas watched San Diego climb back into the game with a surge early in the second half. With Texas up by 25, 48-23, following an Arriaran jumper, the Toreros scored 15 straight points. That 15-0 run cut UT's lead to 12, 48-36, following a Kelly Winther 3-pointer from the wing with 10:29 to go. Texas broke its six minute, 36 second scoreless streak on its next possession when freshman point guard Carla Cortijo sank one of two free throws for a 49-36 edge with 9:39 to play.
Jackson and Williams then went to work, combining to score 14 of Texas' next 18 points as Texas went on a run of its own, out-scoring San Diego 14-6 over the next 5:24 and led 63-42 on a Williams short jumper with 4:15 left. Williams had nine points in that run.
Helping Texas to its 41-21 lead at the break was Jackson with 12 points, five rebounds and three steals in 15 minutes of first-half play. All eight players on the court for the Longhorns in the first half scored, with Williams netting 10 points and Bailey adding six. Texas dominated play inside, holding a 31-20 edge in rebounding and a 24-6 advantage in points in the paint.
After Texas jumped out to a 21-9 lead following a Carla Cortijo jumper at the top of the key with 9:22 to go, San Diego then scored the next five points on a Winther 3-pointer and Amber Sprague jumper to cut UT's lead to seven, 21-14, with 8:16 to go. Texas then stretched its to 22 with a 17-2 run in the next five-plus minutes which was capped by a Jackson layup for UT's biggest lead of the half, 38-16, with 2:48 remaining.
Five different Longhorns scored in that run, led by Jackson with eight points on a 3-pointer from the wing, two layups and a free throw.
Texas limited the Toreros to 26.7 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes as San Diego made eight of 30 shot attempts. Texas hit 43 percent of their shots (18-42). The Longhorns turned the ball over seven times in the first half, while San Diego had 11 turnovers.
In the OSU-Holy Cross third-place contest, the Beavers enjoyed a big lead (30-18) at intermission before Holy Cross battled back and cut the lead to five with eight minutes left in the game. The Beavers, however, turned up the defensive pressure down the stretch. OSU was led by 16 points and three steals from senior guard Casey Nash, while junior guard Ashley Allen added 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Freshman forward Judie Lomax also had 14 for OSU. The Crusaders, which shot 56 percent in the second half, were led by 10 points apiece from seniors Brittany Keil and Kaitlin Foley and freshman guard Bethany O'Dell.
The Longhorns will return home for the next two days, and open the Big 12 regular season schedule on Wednesday, Jan. 3 against Nebraska in a 7 p.m. game at the Frank Erwin Center. Following that game, the Longhorns host Purdue (No. 13 AP/No. 13 USA Today/ESPN polls) on Sunday, Jan. 7 (2 p.m.) on ESPN2 in the Big 12/Big Ten Challenge.
Tickets to Texas home games may be purchased the following ways: online at TexasBoxOffice.com; by calling 800-982-BEVO or 512-471-3333; in person at any Texas Box Office outlet, including Austin-area H-E-B stores and the UT Athletics Ticket Office in Bellmont Hall (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CT); and in person one hour prior to game time at the Frank Erwin Center box office.
Surf N Slam All-Tournament Team
MVP: TIFFANY JACKSON, 6-3 Sr. F, TEXAS
Earnie Williams getting better and better every day. She's been frustrated in wanting to come back full strength, exactly how she was before her injury. But, we've had to take it slow to get back into the flow, and tonight, we saw how valuable she is. Earnie has excellent footwork. She can be really solid for us. She was in the groove that we've been expecting to see from her.
The Big 12 Conference starts Wednesday, and what I know about our team going into the league is that we can win on the road and we showed how to take the momentum from the beginning tonight. And, we are showing some confidence. We took the momentum from the beginning, fought off a rally in the second half. That will happen a lot to us in the Big 12. Thankfully, we are home Wednesday, but Nebraska is playing awfully, awfully well. We've had our eye on them for the last few months. We need everyone to come out and support this team as we challenge for the league championship.