Raven leads Women's Basketball with speed
Dec. 18, 2009
Here's the thing about Brittainey Raven -- she's fast. And she's always going to be fast.
Raven doesn't accelerate, she just goes; doesn't stop until she crosses the line, and Raven is learning how to take the Texas Longhorns to the finish with her.
Wednesday night was nothing if not ugly. The numbers tell us that much -- both UT and Mississippi combined for twice as many turnovers as they did assists. The Lady Rebels, still reeling from a two-point disappointment against No. 7 Ohio State, scratched and clawed up the Erwin Center court.
They did everything, except one.
Ole Miss coach Renee Ladner explains it this way: "We didn't finish the game, and that is the difference between the Texas mentality, and our mentality."
And Raven's mentality. She's a burst that comes at you and around you.
Against Ole Miss, she logged 17 points, eight rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes off the bench. Raven hasn't started a game this season, but she's leading UT in scoring at 15 points a contest.
"When I go in the game, I know where to pick it up. I can tell at certain points in the game when we need energy," Raven says. "Any little thing -- I just try to get us going."
Maybe it's taking a charge, or crashing the boards. Raven has led UT in rebounds the past two outings -- against traditional SEC thumpers, Tennessee and Ole Miss.
And, of course, there's defense.
Raven hounded Bianca Thomas, the Lady Rebels' leading scorer, into her worst shooting night of the season. UT head coach Gail Goestenkors credited the victory to team defense, and Thomas agreed.
"Raven defended me great," said Thomas, who was held to 10 points below her scoring average. "Everywhere I dribbled, they were all on me."
That's what Raven can do -- lead with speed. She's been voted a team captain for the past three years because of her spirit and enthusiasm. Those qualities are best personified by Raven's on-court swiftness, which is powerful enough to pull the Longhorns across the finish line.
Ironically, it all starts with a defensive shuffle.
"We like our defense to get our offense going," Raven says. "From my freshman year until now, I do enjoy defense a lot more. The harder you play defense, the more frustrated the other team gets -- and the more energy you get."