Strong second half play again lifts Women's Basketball
Feb. 17, 2012
John Byczek, Texas Media Relations
AUSTIN, Texas -- For the second-straight game, the Texas Longhorns proved themselves to be the stronger team in the second half, and because of that, UT picked up its second-straight Big 12 victory with a 63-54 triumph against Texas Tech on Wednesday night.
The Longhorns used contributions from the entire roster, particularly Ashleigh Fontenette's second double-double of the season, a game-high 20 points from Chassidy Fussell and Anne Marie Hartung matched a career-high with 12 rebounds.
UT struggled in the first half with 10 turnovers in the first 12 minutes, and missed open shots and layups alike to take just a 30 percent shooting efficiency into the halftime locker room.
"The first half was one of our worse halves of the year," head coach Gail Goestenkors said. "We kept turning the ball over. I was kind of surprised because we had a really good practice (Tuesday). I felt good about things (before the game), and then I don't know what happened."
Despite that, UT trailed just 22-20 at halftime, and then the Longhorns looked like a new team after the break.
Together, the Longhorns improved their shooting percentage up to 55 percent in the half, and UT was also a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line.
"Tonight we came out and we said, 'We are not losing this game,'" Fontenette explained. "We knew that we had to just keep going at it and that things would start falling for us. We kept our confidence in each other."
The Longhorn took control of the momentum in the second half against Tech, repeating their winning formula from last Saturday's victory against Oklahoma State. Against the Cowgirls, the Longhorns started the final half by hitting six of their first seven shots to take a 17-point lead. OSU pulled within nine points until UT went on an 8-2 run to maintain control of the game.
Trailing 49-45 against Tech with 5:19 remaining, the Longhorns went on a 10-0 run to take a 55-49 lead. Fussell's 3-pointer during that surge gave the Longhorns the lead for good.
Fontenette finished with 10 rebounds, a new season high, and 19 points for her fourth career double-double while Fussell scored at least 20 points for the 11th time this season. Both played the entire 40 minutes.
UT outscored Tech in the paint 34-14 and out-rebounded the Red Raiders by a 44-33 margin. Fifteen of UT's 63 points came from fast break conversions.
"I just thought there was tremendous determination," Goestenkors said. "Ashleigh Fontenette played like a warrior the entire game, and she was really determined to win. I think our team as a whole, but our guards in particular, had it in their minds that they were not going to lose this game."