The Longhorns lost their first season opener with coach Gail Goestenkor’ at the helm tonight, as the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal prevailed by a score of 72-59. Texas looked sloppy throughout the game, turning the ball over 15 times and shooting miserable 34 percent from the field.
Reeding the Defense
One of the team’s biggest offensive issues throughout the game was Stanford’s double-team pressure of Cokie Reed. The 6-foot-4 Reed, who was playing in her first game back after missing last season due to injury, drew double teams in the post, but the team failed to take advantage on several occasions.
“I’ve learned that I need to look for my guards when the double team does arrive, because they’re going to be open,” Reed said.
Reed logged a career-high 31 minutes in the game and will likely be expected to put in similar minutes as the season wears on.
“I have to be able to stay on the court for longer without getting tired, just get in shape,” she said.
Texas struggled mightily to shoot the ball throughout the game. As a team, the Longhorns shot just 34 percent from the field, including an atrocious 1-11 from behind the arc. Senior starters Ashley Gayle, Yvonne Anderson and Ashleigh Fontenette didn’t exactly set an example for the younger players, as they combined to shoot just six of 21 from the field. Sophomore Chassidy Fussell, who led the team with 17 points, was just 5-for-14, while Reed went 5-for-12. Anne Marie Hartung, who was 3-for-5, was the only player on the team to shoot better than 50 percent.
“Today it was not falling for us,” Goestenkors said. “That’s that part where our guards have to be ready to shoot the ball. If people are going to double on Cokie, we’re going to get wide-open looks. We need to focus on picking and choosing when to shoot, being ready to shoot and expecting to make it.
A combination of poor shooting and foul trouble led to a poor showing from Texas’ three veterans.
Ashley Gayle got in foul trouble early, turned the ball over four times and failed to score a single point in her 19 minutes on the court.
“We need Ashley to be a great rebounder for us," Goestenkors said. "If Cokie’s going to demand the double team, she should be licking her chops because she just needs to crash the glass on the weak side. Her scoring will go up once she understands she needs to dominate on the offensive glass, that’s where she’s going to get her points.”
Yvonne Anderson and Ashleigh Fontenette shot just 33 percent from the field and were a combined 0-for-5 from behind the arc.
A bright spot for Texas on Friday night was sophomore post Anne Marie
Hartung. The Bowling Green, Missouri, product scored 10 points and picked up six rebounds while turning the ball over only once in her 21 minutes.
“Anne Marie didn’t play that well early on but overall she did a great job filling in for Ashley when she got in foul trouble,” said Goestenkors.
Friday night’s energetic crowd of 4,697 will probably be the biggest the Frank Erwin Center sees for a women’s basketball game until Baylor visits on January 15.
The stars were also out in full force on Friday night as former Longhorn Tristan Thompson, the No. 4 overall pick in this summer's NBA Draft, was in the crowd along with highly-touted freshman point guard Myck Kabongo and several other players from the men’s team.
Freshman guard Cassie Peoples went down in the second half with what is being described as a mild right ankle sprain.
Stanford All-American Nnemkadi Ogwumike was inactive for Friday’s game with an upper-body injury but she is expected to be back for Stanford’s game on Sunday.