The #24 Longhorn’s (8-2) danced to a 71-62 victory over the North Texas Mean Green (7-5) in the fourth annual Texas Two-Step on Saturday night.
After trailing by as many as 11 points early in the second half, Texas went on a 30-9 run to close the game out on a night where the Frank Erwin center was filled with Cowboy hats and boots for the annual in-state showdown.
“I'm very happy to come away with a win,” said head coach Gail Goestenkors. “I'm proud of the resiliency we had in the second half. Some games you just have to find a way to win and I think that was the case today. In the second half, we started pressing a little bit and got a couple of steals, which I think got our momentum and our energy going.”
Chassidy Fussell, a sophomore, led the team in scoring for the second night in a row with 20 points, 18 of which came in the second half, after shooting 58.3 percent from the field.
“I just had a mindset that we weren't about to lose this game,” Fussell said. “I just came out with the help of my teammates and we came together and pulled out a win.”
Chelsea Bass got her first start of the season, stepping in for Yvonne Anderson who was pulled from the line-up just before tip-off, and logged a season high 33 minutes on the night. The sophomore from Houston was second on the team in scoring with 13 points, despite shooting just 30% from the field.
After trailing North Texas 34-25 at halftime, Texas caught fire in the second half.
“We were fighting back and we just needed to get over the hump,” said senior Ashleigh Fontenette, who led the team with nine assists. “We had two great plays with a great pass from Nneka (Enemkpali) and then we just capitalized from there.”
The Longhorns scored 46 points on 70 percent shooting from the field, including hitting three of four from beyond the arc, while holding the Mean Green to just 28 points on 31 percent shooting in the second half. The Longhorns also had an astounding 19 points off turnovers in the latter half.
Senior Ashley Gayle led the team defensively, forcing six turnovers on five blocked shots and a steal.
“When we make great defensive plays, it gets our offense going,” Goestenkors said. ”Ashley Gayle, whenever she has those big blocks, that is huge for our emotion.”