Memorable Women's Basketball moments in Erwin Center history
March 16, 2010
When the Frank Erwin Center opened, it was hailed as the "college version of Madison Square Garden." Now 32 years old, the special events hub has hosted its share of concerts and circuses, but is best known as the home of Texas Men's and Women's Basketball.
With postseason play coming to Austin once again, when the Texas Longhorns host the first and second rounds of the 2010 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament on Sunday and Tuesday, TexasSports.com looks back on some of the most memorable women's basketball moments in the Erwin Center's history.
Opening Day (Nov. 29, 1977)
Later that evening, the arena hosted its first public ticketed event -- when the men's basketball team hosted Oklahoma.
Smith becomes UT's all-time leading scorer (Dec. 10, 1985)
It was a poignant moment for the senior, who courageously fought through that horrific injury to play again, and the Longhorns beat the Women of Troy in a preview of that year's title game.
1986 Midwest Regional: UT vs. Ole Miss (March 23, 1986)
"We almost fell apart," Jody Conradt said. "But before we did, we regrouped and said 'Let's reach down and find something extra.'"
The Longhorns did, and used the victory to remain undefeated and propel them towards their first national title.
National Championship celebration (March 31, 1986)
The Longhorns were a day removed from their historic 97-81 victory against Southern California in the national championship game - when UT became the first team in NCAA history to go undefeated for the title. Conradt, her staff and players were carried from airport to arena in a convoy of classic cars, and thousands of fans gathered inside to welcome the Longhorns home.
The Honorable Barbara Jordan, a longtime fan who sat courtside for most games, was one of the event's featured speakers.
First sold out women's Final Four (March 27, 1987)
However, in the national semifinal, Louisiana Tech upset the Longhorns on their partisan home floor, and afterward, Tech guard Teresa Weatherspoon noted, "We worked so well together. It was like we cut the crowd's vocal cords."
In the championship game, Tennessee overtook Louisiana Tech to give coach Pat Summitt her first national title.
Arkansas snaps UT's 183-game Southwest Conference winning streak (Feb. 23, 1990)
Streaks eventually have to end, and Arkansas shocked the Longhorns -- and the country -- with the Razorbacks' 82-77 win that snapped UT's streak at 183 games.
Freshman Norman's 3-pointer lifts Longhorns over No. 4 Tennessee (Dec. 21, 2002)
UT received a technical foul for the bench-clearing. Tennessee's Kara Lawson sunk two free throws, but the Lady Vols couldn't get a cross-court shot off before the game clock finally expired.
Jody Conradt's 800th career victory (Jan. 22, 2003)
After the triumph -- one in a string of 17-straight that carried UT into the Final Four -- Conradt was characteristically eloquent and reflective.
"If there ever was an occasion that was about team, it's this one, because 800 times, young women just like these, have gotten on the court and fought for The University of Texas and come out victorious," Conradt said.
Carey's deep shot ignites crowd (Feb. 29, 2004)
Gail Goestenkors begins new era of Texas Women's Basketball (Nov. 11, 2007)
The game also gave reason to celebrate Goestenkors' status as a transplant Texan. In a short pregame ceremony, Laura Estes, of official corporate sponsor H-E-B, presented Goestenkors with her very first cowboy boots -- a custom-made black pair. She's bought at least one more pair since.
"I'm going to wear them tonight. I'm pretty excited," Goestenkors said after the game.