AUSTIN, Texas -- University of Texas freshman forward Earnesia Williams has been lost for the 2005-06 season after suffering an ACL tear of her right knee, as announced Tuesday by Texas women's basketball head coach Jody Conradt.
Williams, a 6-0 scholastic All-American and Gatorade State Player of the Year out of Sapulpa, Okla. and Sapulpa High School, suffered the ACL injury during Sunday's (Dec. 4) game against No. 1 Duke, won by the Blue Devils, 84-70.
Williams was making the first start of her young Longhorns career, and was injured on a baseline drive to the basket with 4:47 left in the game. Williams finished with a season-high 12 points to go with three rebounds, one assist and two steals in 14 minutes of play.
"Earnie Williams was a big part of our plans for this season, and her loss to the team is disappointing and very difficult for all of us," noted Conradt. "Right now, she is concentrating on doing some rehabilitation and strengthening prior to her reconstructive surgery, which will be scheduled soon. ACL injuries have a big impact on the women's basketball game, and we at Texas have been fortunate to avoid this type of injury since Tai Dillard's ACL injury five years ago. I am sure many people do not remember that, since Tai came back so strong for us and for the (WNBA) Silver Stars after her surgery. I know Earnie's will and drive, and she has the commitment and focus to do her very best to get healthy and get back on the court and resume her career next season."
Williams, who wore a brace on her left knee after undergoing arthroscopic surgery in August, played in all six games for the No. 18 Longhorns (3-3). She averaged 5.2 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest, playing 12.8 minutes per game. Williams also had five assists and six steals, and shot 12-for-16 from the foul line.
"Of course, I am really really disappointed that I cannot help our team any further this year," stated Williams. "Right now, I am determined to do whatever I need to do to get both of my knees completely healthy, in condition, and as strong as they can be. I plan to come back healthy next year and give it another go to help our team the best I can."
In other Longhorns news on Tuesday, Conradt announced that 6-4 junior forward Kalee Carey (Canyon, Texas/Canyon HS) has quit the team. Carey, the second-tallest player in Texas history, was a two-year letterwinner, appeared in two games this season, playing a total of 10 minutes and scoring no points with no rebounds. She last played against South Carolina (one minute) in UT's 59-55 win on Nov. 25. Carey saw action in 31 games as a reserve post, scoring 98 points with 72 rebounds.