Nash setting early tone for Women's Basketball
Nov. 14, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- Sometimes it just takes a few hours, maybe a day, to see the beauty.
Up, close and personal, it’s easy to see fault. Easy to see turnovers and the 26-point lead that diminished. But, this Texas Women’s Basketball team is a story in the making, and it will take more than two hours, and a season-opening win against Mississippi Valley State on Friday night, to understand what’s to behold.
Right now, if nothing else, energy and effort make the Longhorns entertaining.
Assistant coach Ron Hughey has a voice that sounds at home inside the Frank Erwin Center, and his urgings from the sideline seem to be taking hold.
“C’mon, Kat. You can get down there,” Hughey called.
Kat Nash, the 6-foot-2 post with a shooter’s touch, shuffled along the perimeter, aching into her defensive crouch. The Mississippi Valley possession ended in a turnover -- one of 26 on the night -- and led to a UT score.
“I thought the energy was good,” fourth-year coach Gail Goestenkors said. “We pushed the tempo.”
Nash is the Longhorns’ blossoming ringleader. Asked during the preseason why basketball was fun, Nash was thoughtful, and also direct.
“I like being on a team. And I like winning,” Nash said.
Finally a senior, Nash is in the position to direct her team’s course. Her focus, and stalwart poise, are the Longhorns’ guiding energy. Rightfully, her first points against Mississippi Valley State were 3-pointers swished in transition.
Nash finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and her early precision lifted the Longhorns to a 23-3 lead after they made nine of their first 11 shots, and six of the first seven from beyond the arc.
“We expect to make our threes,” Nash said. “We practice a lot, and we also stay and do a lot of extra shooting after practice.”
Behind Nash, the Longhorns jumped to that lead scoring in a variety of ways. Ashleigh Fontenette dribbled and drove, Yvonne Anderson started 3-of-3 shooting and the defensive unit forced turnovers.
The Longhorns led by 26 points with more than 13 minutes still to play in the first half.
“I was pleased with the way we started both halves, but we need some work with how we finish both halves,” Goestenkors said.