Women's Basketball charging into schedule's new phase
Jan. 26, 2012
John Byczek, Texas Media Relations
AUSTIN, Texas -- This season marks the first time in Big 12 play that all teams will play each other twice, resulting in a longer, 18-game conference schedule.
Texas Women’s Basketball head coach Gail Goestenkors knows this may seem overwhelming to her team, so she developed a mental strategy.
Goestenkors told her players to view the 18 conference games as three series of six games each. She feels this will help the team grow and learn vital lessons, as well as facilitate a “new beginning” mentality throughout the season.
The Longhorns started the second series of six on Wednesday in the right direction, topping Missouri 75-58 at the Frank Erwin Center.
“Playing 18 games can seem daunting at times so we wanted to make it more manageable,” Goestenkors explained. “In the first six we didn’t finish the way we wanted to, at 2-4, but we needed to take those lessons and learn from them and grow and be better in the next six games.”
The Longhorns opened the game against Missouri very strongly, pushing their lead to 17 points with 8:52 remaining in the first half. But UT’s defense allowed six Missouri 3-pointers, which contributed to the Tigers pulling to within 39-34 at halftime.
“Overall, I was really pleased with the way we came out,” Goestenkors said. “I thought we were very, very aggressive, both defensively and offensively. However, we had some lapses and squandered the big lead. I was a little frustrated with that at halftime I thought we were playing hard in the first half, but we weren’t playing smart.”
UT’s defense stepped up and only allowed one 3-pointer in the second half. The Longhorns opened the second half on a 15-2 run to take control of the game.
“I think it was our little pep talk in the locker room (from Goestenkors) at halftime and our determination to not give them any more threes,” center Cokie Reed said.
Goestenkors added: “We didn’t change anything tactically, we just played smarter. We were supposed to be going over screens on the ball, and we went under several times and that allowed them to hit some threes (in the first half). It was the same game plan. We just executed better in the second half.”
UT scored 18 points off of fast breaks and had 28 points in the paint, compared to Missouri’s 12.
“Every conference win is a big win. Our hard work and the lessons we’re learning are starting to pay off. This is one game and now we’re 1-0 in this round,” Goestenkors said.