The last two games have been tough losses for No. 21 Texas. Returning to the Frank Erwin Center today for a two-game home stand could be just the remedy needed for an ailing Longhorns squad.
Texas’ only two losses have come to ranked opponents who took advantage of the Longhorns’ turnover woes. Against both Stanford and Michigan State, Texas committed 17 and 27 turnovers, respectively.
“Our goal is that we know what our weaknesses are, we have the ability to work on them and to get better,” said head coach Gail Goestenkors.
Tonight Texas (4-2) welcomes Texas-Pan American (4-5) in a game vital to the Longhorns confidence.
The Longhorns hold an overall 4-0 series record over the Broncs, last defeating them in 2008 by a count of 91-43.
In the four games Texas has played at home this year, the squad has averaged an impressive 94.5 points per game and outscored their opponents by a 37.8 margin.
As the only school in the league to feature three top 20 scorers, junior Ashleigh Fontenette, freshman Chassidy Fussell and senior Kathleen Nash, the players’ ability to pile on the points against opponents adds considerably to Texas’ confidence.
A team who has struggled on the road this season (1-3), the Broncs feature three players averaging points in the double digits. Sophomore guard Bianca Torre most recently posted an impressive 29 points last Sunday. She averages 16.9 points per game right behind junior guard Ce’Monay Newell who averages 17.3.
For Texas, focusing on the mistakes made in recent losses has been important. But realizing their strengths has been crucial to the Longhorns’ buoyancy.
“Of course nobody ever wants to lose. But we can look back on it and see that we did some really great things in that game,” said junior post Ashley Gayle. “We had some rough times were we couldn’t get stops couldn’t play defense, but we also have good stretches. Doing things like that and recognizing that shows what we can do.”
Staying focused is crucial for the Longhorns as they are in the midst of a four game span that includes three Associated Press top 25 opponents.
“Being able to break down film and look at how we did things wrong and what we did right is extremely important,” Gayle said.
On Sunday, Texas will welcome No. 8 Tennessee (8-1), whose only loss came to then 12th-ranked Georgetown on Nov. 27.
Hailing from small-town Troy, Tenn., Texas’ own Fussell grew up in Vols’ country. Not unfamiliar with the Tennessee program, Fussell is ready to take on the Vols.
“I just feel like I am going to be back home because all of my family is coming in,” Fussell said. “There was always a lot of pressure for me to be a Vol, but I just felt like [Texas] was a better fit, and I fell in love with this program.”