Texas finds lots of room for improvement despite victory

Nick Cremona

After shooting only 34 percent from the field in their first game of the season, any and all offensive production would have been welcomed by the Longhorns in their second contest against Southeastern Louisiana.

It took some time, but Texas was able to find the offense it desperately needed.

The Longhorns’ starting five combined for 61 points, although only nine came from Texas’ tallest players, Ashley Gayle and
Cokie Reed.

It was up to the Longhorns guards to shoulder the scoring load and they rose to the occasion. Senior guard Yvonne Anderson played a game-high 39 minutes and scored 18 points to lead the Longhorns to a 73-65 victory over the Lady Lions. Anderson led Texas with 10 points in the first half and set the tone offensively for the Longhorns.

“I’m not a fan of coming out of the game,” Anderson said. “I want to go out and lead the team.”

Texas held only a six-point halftime lead over the Lady Lions, who were picked by the coaches to finish last in their division within the Southland Conference. The first half was marked by plenty of turnovers from both sides, and once again, poor shooting from the Longhorns.

However, after halftime, Texas seemed to be on its way to a blowout victory, pushing its lead to 15 points with six minutes remaining in the game.

“We ran more motion in the second half and our guards were able to get in a better rhythm,” head coach Gail Goestenkors said.

Anderson continued to fill up the stat sheet in the second half, tallying eight more points as well as dishing out a team-high six assists. She also added five rebounds and two steals, but did struggle with turning the ball over as well. She had five turnovers in the game and the Longhorns had 21 as a team.

“It wasn’t one of our better efforts as a team,” Anderson said. “There seemed to be an overall lack of energy, almost like we were going through the motions.”

Every bit of offense was needed as the Lady Lions mounted a comeback from 15 points down with only six minutes remaining in the game. Anderson was able to stifle the Lions’ comeback attempt more than once with big shots from behind the three-point line. She finished 3-of-4 from three-point range and 7-of-12 from the field. Texas showed improvement from beyond the arc from last game although the team only hit five three point field goals.

It wasn’t the most fluid or exciting game of basketball that the Longhorns will play this year, but they were able to grind out their first win of the young season. However, there’s still room for improvement in nearly every aspect of the game for Texas.

“We’re trying to be a great team, so we have to improve,” Anderson said. 

Printed on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 as: Texas struggles offensively yet manages to pick up win