Freshmen shine as Women's Basketball tops TCU
Feb. 27, 2013
John Byczek, Texas Media Relations
Head coach Karen Aston knows the future of the Women's Basketball program at Texas is headed in the right direction. After Texas' 59-46 win over TCU on Tuesday night at the Frank Erwin Center, Aston could tell her freshmen are maturing and realizing what is expected of them.
"They are feeling more comfortable with the expectations of our coaching staff and of the Big 12," coach Aston said. "Our freshmen have had way too many minutes for us to be making excuses about mistakes they are making or things that they do wrong. I think they have had way too many minutes to feel that way."
Of the 59 total points scored by Texas, 42 points were scored by freshmen. The freshman also pulled in 21 of the 47 total rebounds.
Freshman guard Empress Davenport celebrated her birthday by having a career night against TCU, scoring a season-high 15 points. Davenport shot 7-of-12 (.583) from the field and also recorded two assists and five rebounds.
"Getting the win was most important," Davenport said. "A birthday is just any other regular day, so the win topped it off."
Freshman center Imani McGee-Stafford matched Davenport's 15 points, but pulled in 12 rebounds to earn her 12th double-double of the season.
Brady Sanders and Celina Rodrigo, two more Texas freshmen, also found ways to contribute to the win. Rodrigo had four points, three rebounds and led the team with five assists. Sanders scored eight points but brought an almost palpable energy to the floor.
Aston was pleased that everyone was able to contribute. After all, the freshmen have a combined average of 22 minutes per game throughout the 2012-2013 season.
The leadership provided by Nneka Enemkpali, Chassidy Fussell and Nadia Taylor with the increasing in-game experience the freshmen are receiving is laying a solid foundation for Texas' Women's Basketball team.
"They're all returning," Aston said. "Nadia Taylor is the only one not coming back, but she has been a great contributor to our team in the locker room. I can't say enough about how she has had a voice in locker room. But the bottom line is all of these players are coming back with a world of experience. Their chemistry will be so much better and they'll have a better understanding of what we're doing. I am excited about the future, but I want them to remain focused on what we have left."