Women's Basketball stays close to Tech with strength in the paint
Jan. 17, 2013
John Byczek, Texas Media Relations
In Wednesday night's 66-59 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders at the Frank Erwin Center, the Texas Women's Basketball team portrayed prowess and strength down low. Sophomore forward Nneka Enemkpali and freshman center Imani McGee-Stafford both had double-digit scoring nights, with 18 and 20 points, respectively.
Texas fell behind early due to turnovers but was still in the game at halftime thanks to its muscle and height down low. McGee-Stafford, who stands 6-foot-7, had at least a two-inch advantage over the entire Red Raider squad.
Enemkpali was the leading scorer of the first half with 12 points. She also pulled in three rebounds - all on defense. McGee-Stafford had six points before heading to the locker room along with five rebounds, four on defense and one on offense.
The score at half was 35-27, Texas Tech in the lead.
"I think our effort and our attitude about the adversity in game is getting so much better, but the mistakes are still happening with turnovers," said UT head coach Karen Aston. "I think that is mainly youth, discipline."
In the second half, UT was able to bring the score to within a single point with 1:35 remaining, but could not take the lead over the Red Raiders.
Enempkali finished with 18 points, four rebounds and three assists.
McGee-Stafford finished with two new career highs: eight field goals and three assists. She also tallied her sixth career double-double with 11 rebounds and 20 points, proving to be a young leader.
"I don't think the team relies on me," McGee-Stafford said. "I think that right now it isn't just one person we go to. We don't have the type of team where we can depend on Nneka Enemkpali or we can all depend on Chassidy Fussell. Whoever is on the floor, all five of them have to show up."
The Longhorns outscored the Red Raiders in the paint 30-24. Even though it wasn't enough to be victorious, Aston was happy with her team's determination and will.
"I am proud that we are not giving in," Aston said. "I am proud that their effort was good tonight, and I am proud that they came back tonight and could've cratered when they got down. I am proud of moving forward."