Hot-shooting Fussell looks to take momentum to Waco


Jonathan Garza

Junior Chassidy Fussell takes the ball to the basket in Texas' thrilling 93-83 win against Kansas on Wednesday night. Although Fussell has had her ups and downs this season, she is averaging 26.5 points per game in her last two leading to Saturday's tilt with Baylor.

Garrett Callahan

It might have been gone, but Chassidy Fussell’s shooting touch is back on track.

Fussell found her streak once again Wednesday night as the Longhorns took down conference foe Kansas in a 93-83 victory. The 5-foot-10 guard had been slow for her team leading up to this past weekend when they faced Texas Tech.  

Fussell hit 10 of her 12 attempts with four of those coming from behind the arc in the game against Kansas. Her 26 points was a game-high and proved the Tennessee native was back to her normal self. Against the Red Raiders, Fussell added a game-high 27 points. 

“I was just feeling it tonight,” Fussell said after the Kansas game. “My teammates were setting great screens, and I was coming off them and hitting shots.”

The Longhorns are a different team without Fussell. When she is on, her team is on. The last time Texas faced Kansas this season, Fussell, along with Nneka Enemkpali, was suspended after a violation of team rules. In that game, the Longhorns lost 76-38, their worst of the season.

Fussell has the ability to move around and get open, creating shot opportunities for her team. And when she gets those opportunities she doesn’t let them pass.

“She’s a tremendous one-on-one player,” Kansas head coach Bonnie Hendrickson said. “She reads screens really well. She can get her shot off in a small space, and we didn’t get into her to force penetration enough. She would lean back and get off her left foot and knock it down.”

Texas head coach Karen Aston also recognizes the hard work that her eldest player puts out on and off the court to get better.

“She was getting herself back into a groove after all of the adversity that she went through in the stretch of a month,” Aston said. “She has been in the gym with Travis Mays a lot.”

Fussell now looks to take her momentum into the weekend when the Longhorns face top-ranked Baylor (25-1, 14-0). The Bears are led by former AP Player of the Year Brittney Griner, who is averaging 22.1 points per game. Odyssey Sims also comes in as a threat as she collects an average of 12.3 points per game and leads her team with 126 assists. 

In their last meeting Feb. 9, Baylor outran and outshot the Longhorns behind Sims’ 18 points, en route to a 27-point victory. 

Fussell and Texas will face the same grim task when they head to Waco this weekend, as Baylor has won all of its conference games this season, already capturing the regular season Big 12 title.

Published on February 22, 2013 as "Fussell finds fire".