Making it count: Earnesia Williams
Ashley Walker, Texas Media Relations
When Earnesia Williams decided to come back and use her final year of eligibility, she knew she had been given a second chance for a reason and wanted to make the most of it.
The feeling was similar to what she had gone through just a few days prior to the Big 12 Championship a year ago when she was involved in a one-car accident in Austin. Williams still made the trip to the annual league tournament and went off for her first career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds against Missouri.
This year, Williams has made the most of her `second' senior season, which came full circle Thursday afternoon when she recorded her 1,000th career point at the 3:16 minute mark in the second half, once again, versus Missouri. She now joins an elite class of 35 Texas players to accomplish the feat, including current teammates senior Brittainey Raven and junior Kathleen Nash.
"I felt like I made a good decision to come back and be with the team this year," Williams said. "If I would have moved on, I think I would have regretted it. You always want to make the most of your opportunities and the things that you have, so I'm glad that I stayed and had the opportunity to get to 1,000 points. It's kind of the icing on the cake."
Even though she admits that getting 1,000 career points on the home court at the Erwin Center would have meant a little more, the fact that she joins such an elite class is not lost on the redshirt senior.
"I think that's a great honor, I didn't even know I had that many points. But I guess I`ve been here long enough that I guess I should have 1,000 points by now," she laughed. "It really is a great honor to know the people that have done it before you and it's really a great goal and accomplishment."
With Williams crossing the 1K barrier, Texas now has three players on its roster to do so, a feat that hasn't been accomplished since the 1991-92 season and only five previous times in school history.
But the native Oklahoman knows that's not the only special thing going on with this year's team which is as deep as it's ever been with all nine active players averaging over 3.5 points per game.
"We're playing everybody and everyone is contributing," Williams said. "We don't have to count on one person making 30 or 40 points a game like some other teams. Any night, anybody can go off and that's what makes us special. Everybody comes in and other teams have to know the tendencies of every player, that's what makes us special."
When Williams and the rest of the Longhorns take the floor against in-state rival Texas A&M on Friday at 1:30 p.m., they know it's going to be a tough contest but it won't be anything they haven't faced before.
Two years ago at the Big 12 Championship in the same facility as this year, the Longhorns rallied from 16-point deficit to defeat No. 8 Baylor in the quarterfinals, the largest deficit ever overcome in Big 12 Championship history.
"I think those games two years ago in this arena really illustrated the fight that we had," Williams added. "You have to be ready to play no matter who you're playing, the No. 1 team or the No. 12 team. At this point in the year, you either win and keep playing or lose and go home, so we're ready to go out with everything we have against Texas A&M."
Now that Williams' final season is coming to a close in the next few weeks, she's ready to leave it all on the floor. With 1,000 career points under her belt added to the memories from the Longhorns' last trip to Kansas City, Williams knows anything can happen, it's just a matter of taking advantage of your opportunities.
"We just know we have to try and put everything out there and do everything we can do. It's all or nothing time."