Longhorns rendered speechless as layups won’t even fall in loss

Dan Hurwitz

For the second time in two minutes, Brittainey Raven received an outlet pass on a fast break and was unable to convert on the point-blank, uncontested layup.

With an opportunity to narrow San Diego State’s lead to 10 with 6:39 remaining, the ball rolled all around the rim and somehow found a way to avoid falling through the net.

Raven threw both her arms into the air and looked up in frustration as she ran down the court to play defense.

This was the story of the game that ended the Longhorns’ season.

“It sucks,” a sobbing Raven said. “I wasn’t expecting this.”

The most basic of shots just would not go in for the Longhorns, who missed nine layups and 13 free throws in their opening-round loss to San Diego State in the NCAA Tournament.

“I don’t know what else to say — layups and free throws,” coach Gail Goestenkors said. “They’ve been shooting those probably since they were in second grade and couldn’t put them down.”

Whether a second-grader or a senior in college, if you don’t take advantage of what should be the easy baskets, you will not win.

“When that’s happening, you know, you’re going to have a long night, and you’re going to have a short season,” Goestenkors said.

An early 19-point lead by the Aztecs was too much for the Longhorns, who played from behind for nearly the entire game.

On two separate occasions, Texas managed to cut the deficit to six, but no further, as the Aztecs’ Jene Morris scored 32 points in the win.

Like the Longhorns, the Aztecs were having trouble making shots in the second half, only converting on five field goals.

Goestenkors had her team begin fouling with three minutes left in the game in an attempt to slow the game down.

But unlike the Longhorns, the Aztecs went nine for 10 from the free-throw line down the stretch to seal the upset win and advance to the second round against West Virginia.

The Longhorns came into the game expecting to make a deep run into the tournament and were left shocked as Morris and the Aztecs went on fire from behind the 3-point line, making eight of their 10 attempts.

“They were just on fire, and it became contagious for them,” Goestenkors said. “We couldn’t hit it, and I think it became contagious for us as well.”