Texas welcomes last-place Missouri


Elisabeth Dillon

Freshman forward Nneka Enemkpali has played well for Texas filling in for the injured Cokie Reed. She has averaged 7.5 points and 5 rebounds earning her Big 12 Freshman of the Week.

Nick Cremona

At 0-6 in Big 12 play, the Missouri Tigers are in sole possession of last place in the conference. The Longhorns aren’t too far ahead.

Texas is just 2-4 in the conference and finds itself at eighth in the Big 12 standings. The Longhorns must begin to string wins together, as their season has begun to take a southward turn.

In its last 10 games, Texas has gone 6-4, losing three home games in that stretch.

It’s been noted that each and every Big 12 game has the potential to be close, and while that’s true, Missouri is by far the worst team in the conference. The Tigers have yet to defeat a top-50 RPI team and have lost six of their last 10 games.

This will mark the 23rd overall meeting between the teams, with Texas holding a 20-2 advantage over Missouri. The Longhorns are also a perfect 11-0 at home against the Tigers.

“It’s great to say that you’re able to prove it on the floor,” said senior guard Yvonne Anderson. “It’s one of the things that [assistant] coach [Edwina] Brown has been saying: ‘Enough talking. Put it into action.’”

Lately the Longhorns have enjoyed excellent play from freshman forward Nneka Enemkpali. After filling in for the injured Cokie Reed and in turn seeing her minutes per game increase, Enemkpali has shown marked improvement in many areas.

In her last two games (also her first two career starts) against Iowa State and Oklahoma, Enemkpali has averaged 7.5 points, five rebounds and two blocks, as well as almost recording a double-double during the Horns’ loss to the Sooners.

She recently earned her first league honor when she was named last week’s Big 12 Co-Freshman of the Week.

“She shows great signs and she’s just going to get better and better,” said senior post Reed.

Oddly enough, the two Tiger players the Longhorns will have to keep an eye on are both Texas natives. Seniors Christine Flores and BreAnna Brock are both from the San Antonio area and also lead their team in scoring.

Flores averages over 18 points and seven rebounds a game, making her the de facto go-to-girl. Brock isn’t too bad either, averaging over 15 points and eight rebounds herself.

The pair is shooting a combined 50-percent from the field and average over 30 minutes played per game. The problem is that no one else really does much in the way of scoring for the Tigers, so teams are able to key on Flores and Brock and not worry about anyone else making them pay.

If the Longhorns can shut down Flores and Brock, while not allowing for anyone else to hurt them, this game should go their way. If not, fans could be in store for a show as the Tigers are hungry for their first conference win.

Printed on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 as: Horns look to start upswing vs. Tigers