Fussell has career day against Tennessee
Dec. 17, 2012
Blake McAdow, Texas Media Relations
Chassidy Fussell grew up in Troy, Tenn., but if Sunday’s women’s basketball contest against the University of Tennessee held any special meaning to Texas’ junior guard, she would never tell you that.
“I’m fired up for every game,” Fussell says.
Fussell’s play on the basketball court, however, supplied a more descriptive answer. After missing two games with a head injury, Fussell bounced back to score a career-high 31 points, shooting a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line and willing her team back from a 19-point halftime deficit.
The 2010 graduate of Obion County High School was named Tennessee’s 2010 AA Miss Basketball her senior season and was a three-time Tennessee Sports Writers All-State selection before coming to Texas.
“We remember her from high school. She was a priority for us today, and she got 31 points,” said Tennessee head coach Holly Warlick. “That’s a sign of a great player.”
Fussell started the game awkwardly with two free throws before the opening tip due to a Tennessee technical foul, but Fussell was soon stifled on offense. It was evident that missing game action for over a week was taking its toll early. Fussell misfired on four of her first five shots to go along with four first-half turnovers that put Texas in an early hole.
“The game was a lot different and a lot faster than practice,” Fussell said. “It was a rough start.”
In the second half, everything changed. Texas continued to get to the foul line to keep the game within reach and then Fussell snapped back to her normal scoring mentality. With Texas trailing by 21 early in the second half, Fussell hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to 15.
“She’s a competitor and competitors find a way to score,” Warlick said. “She was going to will her team back into the game.”
With 6:59 to play, Fussell cut the lead to 10 points with another 3-pointer, capping off a 26-14 Texas scoring run, in which Fussell scored 13 points (3-3 3FG, 4-4 FT) in just more than five minutes of action.
Tennessee continued to make clutch shots to sustain a double-digit lead and take home the victory, but Texas head coach Karen Aston was pleased to have her oldest guard back on the court against national powerhouse Tennessee.
“Chas helped us tremendously in this game,” Aston said. “She’s an older player who understands this type of basketball game. Chas brings experience more than anything. She’s the only experienced guard we have.”