Women's Basketball hosts No. 8 Tennessee Sunday
Dec. 10, 2010
The Texas Longhorns need to attack every game the way Ashleigh Fontenette attacked the final three minutes against Texas-Pan American.
Fontenette learned she was a mere two assists and two rebounds away from a rare triple double, and then she literally cleaned the Frank Erwin Center court with uniform fabric and knee pads.
The effort was rewarded with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the first triple-double of Fontenette’s career. She joins Edwina Brown as the only UT players to accomplish the statistical feat in the past two decades.
Fontenette’s focused attack represents her team’s possibility when it possesses a similar mindset. In five games played at the Erwin Center this year, UT is averaging 98 points per game and is outscoring opponents by an average of 40.8 points.
“When we’re all on the same page, playing as a team and pushing the ball, we can score a lot of points,” said senior Kathleen Nash, who will lead UT against No. 8 Tennessee on Sunday.
The Lady Vols represent the end of a demanding four-game stretch. Three of UT’s four opponents are ranked in the top 25. UT began with a 93-78 loss at No. 3 Stanford (Nov. 28) and a 71-57 loss at No. 25 Michigan State (Dec. 5). The Longhorns defeated UT-Pan American on Wednesday night, 112-59.
In addition to Fontenette’s rare triple double, freshman Chelsea Bass scored a career-high 29 points.
“I think it gives us confidence, and that is what we needed,” head coach Gail Goestenkors said. “Anytime you come away with a tough loss, you want to get your confidence back. That is what this game was about, us getting back on track and remembering who we are, and gaining confidence heading into this big game on Sunday.”
Nash said the entire team was disappointed in the collective effort against Michigan State, and the Longhorns gathered for a players meeting on Monday afternoon.
“At Stanford, we kept coming back. But against Michigan State, we got frustrated and showed that frustration,” Nash said. “That made it feel like we were down by a lot more than we were. We talked as a team about not showing frustration, just fight harder. “We all want to win, and that ties us together.”
UT focused on crisp, concentrated practices, and the Longhorns know they need to strive for better offensive execution.
“I’ve learned if anything, we’re a family. We push each other every day, and we’re very much a team,” freshman post Anne Marie Hartung said. “It feels safe to be part of something like this. During the tough days, we’ve got each other to push each other and help each other along.”