AUSTIN, Texas -- University of Texas sophomore guard Erika Arriaran, the No. 23 ranked Longhorns' second-leading scorer and top three-point shooter, has been lost for the remainder of the 2006-07 season after suffering an ACL tear of her left knee, as announced by Texas women’s basketball head coach Jody Conradt on Monday.
Arriaran, a Big 12 All-Rookie Team selection last year and former National Player of the Year while in high school in Norco, Calif., suffered the ACL injury with 31 seconds to go in Sunday's (Jan. 7) game against No. 10 Purdue. Texas upset the No. 10 ranked Boilermakers, 64-61, as Arriaran had 11 points, four rebounds and one assist in 36 minutes of play.
Arriaran was injured as she ran downcourt to defend a Purdue fastbreak attempt with 31 seconds to play. She was injured near the Purdue basket as she planted her left foot and fell. There was no contact on the play.
The MRI was conducted in Austin on Monday. The injury will require surgery, with that surgery delayed for the next three to four weeks until Arriaran has full restoration of range of motion and quadricep muscle control.
“Erika's loss to the team is extremely disappointing and very difficult for all of us,” noted Conradt. “Right now, her main priority will be doing rehabilitation and strengthening prior to her reconstructive surgery, which will be scheduled soon."
"ACL injuries have a serious impact on the women’s basketball game, and they have impacted our program as of late. Yet, this year, we have seen how strong Earnesia Williams is coming back from her ACL injury which happened in December of 2005. I know Erika will have the same type of drive and commitment in her rehab that Earnie has shown and will do her very best to get healthy and back on the court.”
Arriaran averaged 10.5 points per game, second best on the squad. She is UT’s leading 3-point shooter, going 26-for-65 from long range while hitting at a 40.0 clip from the 3-point line. Arriaran led the Longhorns in free throw shooting percentage as well, going 24-for-27 from the foul line (.889). She also is second in assist average (2.3 apg) and second in minutes played (30.5 ppg).
“I am extremely disappointed that I cannot help my team any further this year, especially since our play right now is really positive and we are playing so well together,” stated Arriaran. “I’m sorry to my teammates, my coaches and to the fans that I won’t be out on the court the rest of the season, but I will be there, supporting however I can. I’m trying to believe that this is a blessing in disguise. I plan to work as hard as I can in rehab and make a quick and strong recovery.”
Texas moved back into the Associated Press Top 25 this week after the upset win over Purdue, and stands No. 23 nationally. The Longhorns, 11-4 overall and 0-1 in the Big 12, travel to Columbia, Mo., to face Missouri (13-2, 1-1) on Wednesday, Jan. 10 in a 6:30 p.m. CT conference game at the Mizzou Arena.