After silencing a late rally by the Cyclones, the Longhorns had one final opportunity to put them away for good. With the game tied at 60 and under 20 seconds to go in the second half, senior guard Yvonne Anderson found herself at the top of the key and only one option left — to take the game’s last shot. Chassidy Fussell had a solid game from the field and would have been the likely candidate to hoist a last-second shot in hopes of converting, but the Cyclones had already wrapped her up defensively and it was all up to Anderson.
After running into a wall as she drove left, Anderson backed up and went right back at the heart of the defense, this time making sure she had enough room to get a shot off. She released a floater from about 10 feet out and after a quick meeting with the backboard, the ball found the bottom of the net. Suddenly there was a sign of life from the fans in the Frank Erwin Center, but more importantly the Longhorns.
“Those are the kind of moments you live for,” Anderson said . “Even though I made the shot, I still would rather win by 10 or 12 points.”
“Me too,” said head coach Gail Goestenkors.
The Longhorns can breathe a little easier now that this game is behind them, but Goestenkors and her team know that this won’t be the last Big 12 game to go down to the wire.
“We knew it would be a great battle,” Goestenkors said. “In this conference you just have to find a way to win.”
Anderson certainly found her way. In addition to her game-winner she also shot 6-8 from the field, including 1-2 from beyond the arc to total 14 points for the game. For the 33 minutes she was in the game, Anderson did an excellent job of keeping Texas composed and limited mistakes in order to keep her team in the game. Her eight assists helped spread the floor and create open shots and her four steals got the team in transition early and often. Anderson even added three rebounds for good measure.
“[Yvonne] really dictated the flow of the game,” said Cyclones head coach Bill Fennelly. “She did a great job of gutting the defense a lot. That’s what good players do at big times.”
The Longhorns can definitely build upon this win and have a lot to be proud of after pulling this game out in the waning seconds. Anderson’s improved play has allowed Texas to put the ball in her hands and have her control of the offense. And now that she’s proven she can hit a big shot it also gives the team another option late in games. This won’t be the last you hear from Anderson.