It took the Longhorns a few games to get into a rhythm, but Sunday’s 67-50 win over Colorado marked their third consecutive win against a Big 12 opponent.
Coming off a big win over Texas Tech last Wednesday, Texas (14-7, 3-4 Big 12) kept turnovers to a minimum but was once again out-rebounded.
“I’m just happy to come away with a win,” said Texas head coach Gail Goestenkors. “This was a really good win for us.”
Freshman Chassidy Fussell continued her scoring tear with 21 points. It was her fourth consecutive 20-plus effort and her 11th of the season. She also recorded her 19th double-digit scoring effort, giving her sole possession of number eight on Texas’ list of most double-figure scoring efforts by a Texas freshman.
“Chass has done a great job,” Goestenkors said. “Not just for a freshman but for any player of any age. She has been very consistent for us, and that’s huge.”
Both Fussell and senior Kristen Nash came out strong for the Longhorns in the opening half, each scoring four points in the first three minutes.
“I like getting the ball at pressure moments in the game, but I couldn’t do it without my teammates,” Fussell said.
But for Texas, which scored a season-low 25 points in the first half, pushing the tempo proved difficult. The Longhorns shot a measly 33 percent from the floor in the first half compared to Colorado’s 47 percent.
Colorado forward Brittany Spears led her squad with seven points but gave up three turnovers.
Both squads played lethargic ball, but Texas was able to capitalize on Colorado’s 12 turnovers.
“It was rough in the first half. I didn’t feel like we executed very well,” Goestenkors said. “We seemed a little stagnant and didn’t rebound very well.”
With a 25-24 advantage at halftime, the Longhorns kept their focus, shifting into overdrive as they opened the second half on an 11-0 run. They eventually built a 12-point lead which they never surrendered.
“We had a great first half. I thought our defensive intensity was good,” said Colorado head coach Linda Lappe. “But in the second half, they came out with a different mindset, with a different mentality. They were a lot more aggressive, setting screens and getting into the hole.”
The Longhorns’ effort to get the ball moving proved to be their turning point as they recorded 19 assists.
But Texas, which has been continually plagued this season by bad rebounding, once again lost the battle, as the Buffs out-rebounded the Longhorns 32-27.
Now with another win under their belts, the Longhorns have a week to practice and work on their rebounding game before taking on Kansas at home Saturday.
“It definitely feels good to get on a roll after our start. This gives us a lot of momentum going in,” Nash said. “I think we are just focusing on one game at a time and not looking too far forward. I think we can keep things going.”