AUSTIN, Texas -- Despite four players scoring in double figures, the Texas Women’s Basketball team dropped a 78-70 decision to the Oklahoma Sooners at the Erwin Center on Saturday afternoon.
Empress Davenport and Chassidy Fussell paced the Longhorns with 14 points apiece, and Texas outrebounded Oklahoma 48-25. However, the Sooners shot 50.9 percent in the game (27-of-53) and were 11-of-17 from behind the arc, including nine second-half three-pointers.
Nneka Enemkpali collected her eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Imani McGee-Stafford scored 12 points to go along with nine rebounds.
Texas controlled the Sooners on the boards, holding a 48-25 advantage and translating it into 21 second-chance points.
The game was back-and-forth in the first half with five ties and four lead changes. Sharane Campbell had 13 first-half points for the Sooners, and gave Oklahoma a 36-31 lead at halftime. Enemkpali had eight points and eight rebounds to lead the Longhorns in the opening stanza.
Texas would cut the lead to two coming out of the game break but Oklahoma took control with an 18-4 run midway through the second half, stretching the lead from 45-44 to 66-50 with nine minutes left in the game. The Longhorns were held scoreless over a period of 4:23 during the run.
Sharane Campbell led the Sooners with 24 points while Aaryn Ellenberg and Morgan Hook added 18 and 17, respectively.
Texas falls to 7-6 overall, and 0-2 in the Big 12 Conference. Oklahoma improves to 12-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference.
The Longhorns will look to pick up their first conference win when they travel to West Virginia on Wednesday, Jan. 9 for a 6:00 p.m. Central game.
-Texas leads the all-time series with Oklahoma, 23-20 … the teams each won their home end of the match-up in 2011-12 with Texas dominating the last meeting in Austin, 87-62, on Feb. 25, 2012.
-The Longhorns are now 11-6 all-time in Big 12 Conference home openers since the league began in 1996-97.
-UT had a season-high 27 offensive rebounds, more than Oklahoma’s total rebounds (25) … Texas held an overall 48-25 advantage on the boards in the game and translated the edge into 21 second-chance points.
-The Longhorns matched a season-low in turnovers with 16.
-Posted her eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds … leads all Big 12 players in double-double performances this season.
-Set career highs in points (14), rebounds (seven).
-Recorded her fifth double-figure scoring effort in seven games with 12 points and added nine rebounds.
-Reached double figures in scoring (14 points) for the fifth time in six games and the ninth time this season.
-Has recorded a block in each of the last three games.
Texas Head Coach Karen Aston
On the loss: It is a disappointing loss because it’s a home loss. We talk about how hard it is to win on the road in the Big 12 and how you have to try to protect your home court. I am so proud of Imani [McGee-Stafford] and Empress [Davenport] because they continue to do what they are asked to do. We did not execute offensively. We did not play good enough defensively to win in the Big 12. Losing is not fun, but they are going to keep getting better because they are trying to get better. Coaches can’t be mad about that.
On freshman Empress Davenport's performance: Empress and I talked a lot about roles and how she can get better before Christmas break. She has really responded in the last two games.
On today's rebounding: It kept us in the game, but we didn’t shoot as well they did. We had opportunity for offensive rebounds and they didn’t have that opportunity. Empress has been great at rebounding. Imani and Nneka are expected to rebound. In non-conference play, everyone expected them to rebound. Empress and I talked about that. She is a pleaser and has really picked it up in that area.
On playing 10 four-minute games: There were two four minute games that we loss that were significant. We loss one by eight and one by 11. You just cannot do that. We won all the rest of the four-minute games. That is what the young players don’t understand. Every four-minute game counts and if you lose one by 11, you’re going to lose the game.
On individual roles among the players: The young players have been out there all year long and they will continue to be out there. The freshmen are in the fire, all of them. They are going to continue to learn by mistakes and the games we are playing. I think there are some changes that some of the young players are trying to make. Imani went through a real learning experience in Ames, Iowa. They went after her. They went right at her again today, but she came back in the second half with so much more composure. We have to stay really positive with that.
Freshman G Empress Davenport
On her career-high performance: The Big 12 is a hard conference and I feel that we have to be more aggressive than non-conference play. Everybody went out there and played aggressive. We just fell short.
Freshman C Imani McGee-Stafford
On adapting to college basketball: I am not fond of losing and we all share that mentality. I have never had to deal with foul trouble. It is different with me. I am trying to learn to keep my arms straight up and things like that and am working really hard on that in practice and in games. I am not used to being the focal point in terms of having to always make sure I am on my toes and doing everything right.
On upcoming games: We didn’t get the W, but that doesn’t mean it will affect us next week.
Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale
Opening Statement: Obviously, I was really pleased with the way we shot the ball. We have really, really good shooters, but those numbers are pretty impressive. You enjoy it when it happens. Some nights it’s going and some nights it’s not. And tonight it was. I thought our resilience was fantastic. We just fought them off. We had early foul trouble. We fought our way through it. And we had lots of contributions from Sharane Campbell, Portia Durrett and Nicole Kornet. Their minutes were huge. Just a great team win.
On three point shooting (OU shot 9-of-11 in the second half): There were several things. There were several offensive rebounds on Texas’ end or errant passes that got batted around that became a loose ball that we recovered. That gave us some opportunities to get 3’s in transition, a big part of how we play. We didn’t have those opportunities in the first half. Texas did a really good job of getting back and protecting in the first half. We ran a few sets to get looks, but by and large the barrage in the middle of the second half just came out of playing basketball. Loose balls leading to transition, rebounds leading to transition. Or plays that didn’t work, playing basketball out of the play that didn’t give you what it was designed to. It’s just guys understanding how to play.
On winning despite being outrebounded: They had more offensive rebounds than we had rebounds in the entire game. I don’t know if I have ever even seen that happen, much less have that happen and win. But when you go 9-of-11 from the three-point line, it covers a multitude of sins.
On confidence gained in this victory: We go one game at a time and focus on the task at hand. We knew we are not just going to run over people. We are going to have to play toward our strengths. It’s good to see these guys getting confidence though. I think that’s what happened midway through the second half. They forgot about everything and just trusted each other. And it was pretty to watch and rewarding as a coach to watch them go.
Junior G Morgan Hook
On team’s shooting in the second half: I think it came from transition, too. In the first half, we were kind of walking the ball up. When we started the second half, we started pushing on makes and misses, and that got us open. It all came from transition in the second half.
On being able to penetrate the Texas defense: I just had to create separation. I just paid attention to that this game. Just creating separation. I think I played more poised in this game than I did in the previous game.
Sophomore G Sharane Campbell
On team’s shooting in the second half: We were just taking open shots. You can’t be scared to shoot it. If you don’t shoot the shots, you miss them all.
On having a career-high 24 points: I just came to play. Just do whatever I had to do, drive, get fouls, and I just hit some threes today.