Opening-night victory marks the start of something new
Nov. 13, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- Lauren Flores had seen all of this before. The low lights, the smoke, the introduction video.
But she had never experienced it -- never felt it -- wearing a uniform with “Texas” across her chest. That is, until the Texas Longhorns opened their season on Friday night against UTSA, and Flores found herself huddled among the rest of her teammates in the Frank Erwin Center tunnel ready to take the floor.
“It was like a dream come true, really,” Flores said.
Flores and Cokie Reed made their freshman debuts, and each had a hand in helping the No. 12 Longhorns to a 71-60 victory against UTSA. Reed had nine points, five rebounds and one steal, and Flores contributed six points and two assists in 13 minutes.
Reed actually got better as the game wore on, ripping down an offensive board and adding the follow to extend UT’s lead to 50-39 midway through the second half.
“I just had to play the jitters out,” Reed said.
And then both Flores and Reed looked right at home, as the Longhorns celebrated in usual fashion after the game -- at center court, singing “The Eyes of Texas.” Reed said she knew the words even before she moved to Austin, but Flores confessed she didn’t learn them until freshman orientation during the summer.
“It came fast, real fast,” Flores said. “And this game, it was just exciting to see all the fans. Once I got a feel for a new atmosphere, I felt like I got into the groove.”
So, Friday marked a new beginning for the Longhorns in a few ways. Not only were these freshmen laying the foundation for a successful reign with UT, but head coach Gail Goestenkors also announced Friday her four-player signing class for the 2010-11 season.
Tiffany Moore, a 5-foot-10 guard from Frisco is rated as the No. 5 player in the country by RivalsHigh.com Girls Hoops, and she will be joined in the backcourt by Chelsea Bass, a 5-8 guard from Houston, ranked as the No. 12 prospect in the nation.
Anne Marie Hartung, a power forward from Missouri, is ranked among the ESPN HoopGurlz 100, and Chassidy Fussell, a 5-10 guard, was District 13AA player of the year last season at Obion County High School in Union City, Tenn.
“Simply stated, this class is the epitome of well-rounded student-athletes,” Goestenkors said. “Texas fans are going to be as excited about this signing class as I am. They love to run and press, and it’s going to be a fun four years to watch them develop and take their games and our program to the next level.”