No. 4/3 Connecticut (21-3) at Texas (12-9)
Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006: 2 p.m. (Central)
at the Frank Erwin Center (capacity 16,775), Austin, Texas
Game Day Information & Quick Facts
TV: ESPN2: Ron Franklin (play-by-play); Fran Fraschilla (color analyst)
Radio: Texas: KVET Radio/Sports Radio 1300 (1300 AM), Austin; UConn Radio Network
ESPN February Frenzy: The Sunday, Feb. 15th women's basketball games on ESPN2 will be in whip-around coverage, as the network goes across the nation to showcase some of the top moments from all games. The Texas-Connecticut game will be protected and shown in its entirety in the Texas and Connecticut markets.
Teams at A Glance
National Rankings: Texas is not ranked ; Connecticut is No. 4 in AP Poll, No.3 in USA Today/ESPN Poll (as of Feb. 6, 2006)
All-Time Series Record: 3rd meeting: UConn leads series, 2-0
Texas' H/A/N Record vs. Connecticut: 0-0 at home; 0-1 away; 0-1 at neutral sites
Series Streak: +2, Connecticut
Prior Meetings: 2005: #16/13 UConn 73, #15/11 Texas 57 (Jan. 17, 2005, Hartford, Conn.);
2003: UConn 71, #5 Texas 69 (April 6, 2003- NCAA Final Four semifinals, Georgia Dome, Atlanta)
Texas Coach Jody Conradt (Baylor '63): 37th year overall: 1,168 games: 881-287 (.754); 30th year at Texas: 989 games: 764-225 (.772)
UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma: 21st season overall (all at UConn): 692 games: 578-114 (.835)
Jody Conradt vs. Connecticut: 0-2
Game & Ticket Promotions
Conradt's Kids Court: Prior to all Women's Basketball home games, all young women's basketball fans and their families are invited to come to "Conradt's Kids Court" for fun-filled activities. This is a FREE event, held at the Cooley Pavilion right next door to the Frank Erwin Center.
Woode Wood Band will be playing outside the Erwin Center arena, starting at 1pm on the North Concourse
Halftime: Bob and Nick - The Incredible Frisbee Dog
Fun for Four: Purchase 4 general admission tickets for $16
Scout Day: $2 general admission for all scouts and troop leaders in uniform or t-shirt
Ultimate Assist: Half-price admission (mezzanine seating only). Redeem specially-marked Sprite cans at the Erwin Center south box office one hour prior to tip-off for half-price admission to. Mezzanine seating only, limit two per can. Not valid with any other offer.Offer expires February 28, 2006.
UT Students: win lunch for you and NINE of your friends at Texadelphia (wear your O-Zone shirt; prizes awarded during the game).
Purchase at TexasBoxOffice.com or call 512-471-3333 or 1-800-982-BEVO. For charge-by-phone, you can call 512-477-6060. Tickets can be purchased in person at the following locations: Bellmont Hall Athletics Ticket Office (Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m-4 p.m. Central); and at any Texas Box Office location, including the Frank Erwin Center (Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and game days prior to tipoff) or at Austin area H-E-B stores.
Quick Glance at the Teams
Texas stands 12-9 overall as it goes out of conference to face Connecticut (21-3) ... The Huskies are ranked No. 4 in this week's AP Poll and No. 3 in the USA Today/ESPN Poll ... The Longhorns are 6-3 in their last nine games... 8-3 at home this year ... 6-4 in non-Big 12 matchups ... This is the second of three games in UT's current homestand ... It is the third meeting between Texas and Connecticut ... The Huskies won both prior meetings - a 71-69 win in the 2003 NCAA Final Four semifinals at the Atlanta Dome (April 6, 2003) and 73-57 last Jan. 17th in Hartford, Conn. ... Both teams are coming off losses ... Texas dropped a 73-53 decision to Big 12 opponent Texas A&M Wednesday in Austin as UT was without leading scorer and rebounder junior Tiffany Jackson (ankle injury); UConn lost at home on Wednesday to Big East rival No. 8 Rutgers, 60-56, which snapped the Huskies' nine-game win streak.
Bring 'Em On: Fourth Toughest Schedule in Land Belongs To Texas
According to the most recent RPI rankings (Feb. 10) on CollegeRPI.com, UT's strength of schedule is rated the fourth toughest in the nation, while the Horns are ranked No. 26 overall in the RPI ... Connecticut is No. 2 in the RPI with the No. 3 toughest schedule... N.C. State (No. 10 in RPI) and Tennessee (No. 1 in RPI) have the two toughest schedules in the land ... Beginning with Wednesday night's game against No. 24/23 Texas A&M , four of UT's next five games were/are against Top 25 opponents (vs. No. 4/3 UConn today, vs. No. 9/12 Oklahoma on Feb. 15, and vs. Texas A&M again on Feb. 22) ... Texas has faced seven Top 25 teams to date (going 1-6), with New Mexico and George Washington entering the polls after playing Texas ... UT's schedule has been rated first-through-fourth toughest all year long ... In the most recent NCAA public RPI ratings on Feb. 2nd, Texas stood No. 23 (down from No. 11 a week prior), with UConn No. 2.
Another Top 10 Opponent
Connecticut is the fifth top 10 ranked opponent that the Longhorns will meet so far this year ... UT has yet to win a game against the top 10, losing to then-No. 2 Tennessee (102-61), No. 1 Duke (84-70), No. 9 Rutgers (63-49) and No. 4 Baylor (61-48)...Texas next squares off against another top 10-ranked opponent when No. 9 Oklahoma comes to Austin on Wednesday (Feb. 15)... With the exception of the Tennessee game, the Longhorns have not had a healthy roster of top players for any of the other games (see injury note, pg. 4).
Texas Stat Leaders
Texas junior Tiffany Jackson, listed as DOUBTFUL for today's game with a right ankle injury, leads the Longhorns in scoring (14.4 ppg), rebounding (8.8) and steals (54, 2.7 spg)...Jackson injured the ankle with 5:55 left to go in Saturday's game at Colorado; she missed Wednesday's game with Texas A&M.
The non-injured players who follow in the scoring column are freshman Erika Arriaran (11.2 ppg), senior Nina Norman (9.5 ppg) and freshman Ashley Lindsey (5.6 ppg), with Lindsey second in rebounding (5.1 rpg) ... Texas is led by Norman in assists (53, 2.5 apg) and Arriaran and Jackson are tied for second in assists (each with 42, 2.2 apg)... Arriaran leads the club in 3-pointers made (33) and taken (94) and in free throw percentage (.871, 27-31) ... In Big 12 action, Jackson averages just under a double-double (14.9 ppg, 9.9 rpg), while Norman (10.6 ppg) and Arriaran (10.4 ppg) are in league double-figure scoring.
Texas and UConn will be meeting for the third time in history, with the Huskies holding the 2-0 edge in series action ... Last year, UConn won in Hartford, 73-57 behind rookie Charde Houston (25 points) and junior guard Ann Strother (20 points)...Both teams had 34 rebounds, and Texas had only 11 turnovers but was hurt by 34 percent shooting (to UConn's 55 percent shooting) ... The Longhorns were paced by then-junior guard Nina Norman's 13 points, five boards and game-high six assists... Senior F Heather Schreiber (12 points) and then-sophomore Tiffany Jackson (11 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) were other UT leaders.
These two clubs first met in the 2003 NCAA Women's FInal Four semifinals at the Georgia Dome (on April 6), with No. 1 ranked UConn edging the No. 5 Longhorns, 71-69 ... That was Texas' first NCAA Final Four appearance since the 1986-87 campaign where UT went 31-2 and lost to Louisiana Tech in the NCAA semi's at home in Austin ... It was Texas' third NCAA Final Four showing overall ... In the Texas-UConn game in Atlanta, the loss ended UT's storybook season at 29-6 and snapped the Longhorns' 17-game win streak, as UConn went on to clinch a second consecutive NCAA title.
There is only ONE player on the current Texas roster who played in that 2003 Final Four game three years ago - senior guard Nina Norman...She had 14 points (5-8 in FG's).
UConn Stat Leaders
The Huskies have four players in double-figure scoring: senior G Ann Strother (14.5 ppg), sophomore G Mel Thomas (13.0 ppg), sophomore F Charde Houston (11.1 ppg) and senior F Barbara Turner (10.8 ppg) ... Turner (6.6 rpg) and Strother (5.4 rpg) are the top rebounders, while Thomas (61 3-pointers) and Strother (57 treys) have combined for 75 percent of the Huskies' treys (118 of 158)... UConn is out-scoring the opposition by 19.5 ppg (74.7 to 55.2 ppg).
Texas and UConn have met three common opponents this year - Tennessee, Rutgers and Oklahoma ... Texas is 0-3 against this trio; UConn is 1-2... UT lost to the No. 2 Lady Vols (102-61, Dec. 1), to No. 9 Rutgers (63-49, Dec. 30) and to No. 13 OU (75-67, Jan. 25) ... UConn beat Oklahoma ( 82-62, Nov. 20) and lost to Tennessee (89-80, Jan. 7) and to Rutgers on Wednesday (60-56).
Texas Vs. The Big East Conference
UConn is the second of two Big East opponents for the Longhorns this year, as UT faced Rutgers at Rutgers on Dec. 30 (a 63-49 loss)... In all-time games against the newly-expanded 16-team Big East, the Longhorns stand 14-10 (58.3%) ... UT's all-time record against the Big East: 0-1 vs. Boston College; 0-2 vs. UConn; 1-0 vs. DePaul; 2-0 vs. Georgetown; 1-0 vs. Marquette; 1-1 vs. Notre Dame; 1-0 vs. Pittsburgh; 6-5 vs. Rutgers; 1-0 vs. St. John's; and 1-1 vs. Seton Hall ... Texas has never faced the other Big 12 members.
Status on Jackson
All-America 6-3 junior Tiffany Jackson's right ankle injury (sprain) gives her doubtful status for today's game... Jackson injured the ankle on a defensive move with 5:55 left in the Colorado game at CU last Saturday (Feb. 4) ... Jackson exited the game with 11 points and six rebounds, and the Longhorns went on to win, 69-64 ... The versatile Jackson, who is up for National Player of the Year and All-America honors, is UT's leading scorer (14.4 ppg), rebounder (8.8 rpg), steals leader (54, 2.7 spg) and minutes played leader (32.2 mpg) ...She stands second in blocked shots (32, 1.6 bpg) and is tied for second in assists (42, 2.1 apg)... Jackson has not practiced since her injury; she missed Wednesday's home game against Texas A&M, which was the first missed game in her Texas career... Prior to that, she had played in all possible 86 games with 67 starts.
Help in the Post Comes Along
Texas is getting frontcourt contributions from four other "posts by committee" along with Jackson: from 6-2 senior Daria Mieloszynska and three rookies: 6-4 Ashley Lindsey, 6-3 Aubry Cook and 6-3 Mari Mergerson ... Cook has 47 points and 27 rebounds in the last seven games, averaging 6.7 ppg and 4.5 rpg in these seven games... Mieloszynska posted her first career double-double (10 pts/10 rebs) against Kansas State (Jan. 22) and has 35 rebounds (5.0 rpg) in the last seven contests... Lindsey is UT's top shot blocker with 41 rejections to date (1.7 bpg)... She has 38 boards in the last eight games, including a game-best 11 against OSU on Jan. 28.
Mergerson Makes First Showings
Freshman post Mari Mergerson, one of the All-America high school standouts, made her first five appearances in a UT uniform in the last five games (Oklahoma through Texas A&M) ... Mergerson had been going through rehab for an ACL injury and an arthroscope and was cleared to play in mid-January (see injury note).
She made her first UT appearance by playing the final minute against OU...Since then, she has had all 15 of her college points in the last three games (with four boards), including a career-best seven points in the Colorado win.
This year, Texas is 8-3 at home (4-2 vs. non-conference opponents), 2-6 in away games and 2-0 at neutral sites... Since the start of 2002-03, Texas is 52-4 at home (92.9 percent)...Texas has used eight different starting lineups this year ... UT has relied on its strong defense this year (allowing just 64.1 ppg, holding opponents to 38.2 shooting accuracy) ... Offensively, injuries to the guards have hurt the Horns ...Texas has just 223 assists to date (average of 10.6 per game) and is on track to have the lowest season assist average since the first year of play in 1974-75 (291 in 27 games, a 10.8 apg average)... If UT's current scoring average of 65.1 stays constant, this would be Texas' third lowest offensive output ever in the program's 32-year history... Lowest were 60.3 (1975-76) and 63.0 ppg (1974-75).
Longhorn Record Watch
Senior guard Nina Norman has 395 all-time assists to stand No. 8 in all-time UT steals ... She is 8 away from the No. 7 spot... In addition, Norman is moving toward the 1,000-career point mark ... She has notched 973 career points, needing 27 more to reach that 1,000-point milestone.
Next Up: No. 9 Oklahoma
Texas returns to Big 12 play on Wednesday, Feb. 15, hosting No. 9 Oklahoma in a 7 p.m. game at the Erwin Center ... This will be the second time these two squads will have met in the home-and-home play this year... OU posted a 75-57 win over Texas on Jan. 25 in Norman... Wednesday's game will ONLY be televised in the Oklahoma markets via Sooner Sports TV; there will be no TV in Texas.