Cold shooting, foul trouble dooms team in overtime

Sameer Bhuchar

After being embarrassed by Oklahoma last Saturday, Texas head coach Gail Goestenkors held a practice she referred to as an NBA practice — as in no babies allowed.  

On Monday night against Iowa State (19-8; 7-6), Goestenkors got the mature physicality she was looking for but not the result, as Texas (17-10; 6-7) dropped its second game in a row in overtime, 66-57.

The Longhorns stormed out with a fiery aggression as Goestenkors’ game plan of a dribble-drive offense came into play immediately. Freshman Chassidy Fussell scored Texas’ first points with a hard drive against four Cyclone players, knocking one to the ground.

The tactic worked for much of the first half as it freed up shooters and allowed for easy lay-ups but was derailed in the second half when Iowa State’s man-to-man defense tuned up, forcing Texas to settle for contested jumpers.

As has been the case in recent years between these two teams, the game was a back-and-forth battle the whole way through. With Texas down by two with less than a minute remaining, the dribble-drive worked again.

With 13 seconds remaining in regulation, junior Ashleigh Fontenette slashed to the basket, causing the Iowa State defense to collapse onto her. She dished the ball to freshman post Anne Marie Hartung who tied the game at 54-54.

Overtime was much crueler to Texas. With Hartung and junior Ashley Gayle both fouled out and playing her worst game of the season, the Longhorns simply lost steam. They were outscored 12-3 in the extra period.

With Goestenkors preaching physicality, Yvonne Anderson certainly stepped up her game on Monday. The junior guard scored 14 points and snagged 10 rebounds in the losing effort. Senior Kathleen Nash added 15 points and Fontenette, who was playing with a broken shooting thumb, managed 12 points and three steals.

Though she scored the first points of the game, normally sure-handed Fussell went 1-11 from the field for two points.

Gayle’s foul trouble had her riding the pine for most of the game. This opened up inside scoring for the Cyclones, and forward Chelsea Poppens took advantage. Poppens had a career-high 23 points and 11 rebounds.

This was the second game in a row in which Gayle fouled out. Texas committed 22 team fouls to Iowa State’s 12.

The loss will send Texas’ NCAA tournament bid further into speculation as it appears to be flirting with the edge of the bubble. With only three games remaining, Texas will likely need to win at least two to stay in consideration for a seed.