Anne Marie Hartung

Quick shots: Texas loses to Stanford, 72-59

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.

 

Shooting Woes
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.

 

Senior Struggles
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.

 

Hartung Surprises
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.

 

Star-Studded Crowd
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.

 

Injury Report
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.

Sophomore Anne Marie Hartung towers over an Oklahoma State defender for two of her career-best 17 points.

Photo Credit: Rebeca Rodriguez | Daily Texan Staff

Desperate for a win to keep their tournament hopes alive, the Longhorns got a much needed boost from an unusual source.

Sophomore forward Anne Marie Hartung, who had scored in double figures just seven times in her career heading into the game, had a career-high 17 points as Texas (14-10, 4-8 Big 12) bolstered its NCAA tournament resume with an impressive 69-53 win over Oklahoma State (13-8, 5-7 Big 12) at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday night.

“It feels good to win,” Hartung said. “I think we want to continue this feeling. There is still pressure on us, but not as much now that we have won.”

Hartung, who has seen an increase in her minutes with Cokie Reed and Ashley Gayle out of the starting lineup, was finally able to take advantage of the extra playing time and deliver a stellar performance. To go with career-highs in scoring and minutes (34), Hartung led her team with eight rebounds, eight field goals and a field-goal percentage of 67.

“I still play the same role as I did coming off the bench, it’s just that now I’m in a starting role,” Hartung said. “I’ll just continue to do everything I have been. Yvonne [Anderson] and the guards did a good job of finding me. If I can keep scoring like this, that’s great, but if not, I’ll just find other ways to contribute.”

Hartung’s strong performance wasn’t the only difference for Texas in Saturday’s victory.

The Longhorns, who had struggled to take care of the ball during their four-game losing skid, forced 16 turnovers while coughing it up just eight times.

“The past few games, we’ve been giving teams too many extra possessions,” said senior guard Anderson, who had 18 points on the night. “We focused on that tonight and we made sure not to force the ball. It was just a matter of taking care of the ball and waiting until the opening was there.”

Texas was able to pull away early in the second half as the Longhorns hit six of their first seven shots, including a pair of 3-pointers from Chassidy Fussell, who led all scorers with 20 points.

“We came out with a different intensity today,” Anderson said. “The shots weren’t falling for us as much in the first half, but the intensity level was there. We felt we had enough to make a run and we did that at the start of the second half.”

Saturday’s win puts Texas in position to make a late season push for the NCAA tournament. With six games remaining, though, the Longhorns have little margin for error.

“We have looked big picture just to put it on the table,” said head coach Gail Goestenkors. “After that we broke it down game-by-game. There were a lot of games we felt like we could win, if we played the kind of basketball we are capable of playing. Tonight was the first night we were determined that we were going to show how good we could be. We are going to fight for everything, and we feel like we’re in control of our destiny.”

Printed on Monday, February 13, 2012 as: Hartung helps Longhorns overpower OU at home

As the Texas women’s basketball players and coaches fielded questions during the team’s first press conference on Tuesday, there seemed to be a reoccurring theme: coping.

Despite being knocked out of the first round of the NCAA tournament by San Diego State last March, Texas coach Gail Goestenkors had high hopes for her team in the off-season. However, a season-ending injury to post player Cokie Reed left a Texas-sized hole in the lineup. So in a Big 12 conference that seems to be getting bigger and stronger, Goestenkors acknowledges that the team is shuffling to make up for the loss.

“We know Cokie, she was in great shape, in much better shape than she was in her entire freshman year,” Goestenkors said. “We were going to be a power team. Now we have got to change what we were planning to do, and do what is best for these young ladies to be successful.”

The scrambling process obviously includes finding players to fill the post position. Reed was supposed to split minutes with Ashley Gayle, a 6-foot-4-inch junior from Las Vegas. Goestenkors was also expecting Kristen Nash to return for a fifth year, who’s size would have also helped. Now Goestenkors has to rely on heavy minutes from Gayle as well as untested freshman Anne Marie Hartung.

Despite the lack of depth, Goestenkors is not discouraged, and feels both Gayle and Hartung will be options in the Longhorns’ new run-and-gun style of play.
“Anne Marie is going to learn and grow into the position,” she said. “She will play significant minutes.”

Another part of the coping process for this team goes beyond dealing with the loss of pivotal players. The second step is coping with the rigors of the Big 12 with a small, young team.

Hartung is among five freshmen on this year’s squad. And with more than half the team being underclassmen, questions remain over whether Texas can make a splash in the Big 12.

Senior Kathleen Nash will take on an even larger role in the offense this year, as she expects to shuffle through every position on the court during games.

“I might have to play one through five [positions] a lot more,” Nash said. “I’ll need to expand my game, to be able to post and handle the ball more.”

Nash’s expanded role is a part of the Longhorn’s new emphasis on playing up-tempo. The team has been working on extra conditioning drills to keep in shape.

“We are just running more,” Nash said. “If we aren’t running, we are scrimmaging. We have more minutes at the end of practice where we do conditioning, so we know we will always do that on top of everything else. But we know it’s necessary.”

The development of the team’s freshmen is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dreary off-season.

Freshman guard Tiffany Moore is expected to play significant minutes once she recovers from a hand injury suffered during practice. She said the pressure of playing for a big-time program is nothing new to her and her young teammates.

“I don’t really believe there is any [pressure] at all,” Moore said. “We all work hard, so we are kind of used to and immune to it by now. Coach G wants players who play hard, work hard and give time in the gym, so there really is no pressure at all as a freshman.”

Of course, part of fighting the pressure off is to build a strong sense of camaraderie.

Moore was excited to spill all about her teammate’s habits, quirks and even nicknames.

“I think [Chassidy Fussell] is bionic ... She lifts like thousands of pounds,” Moore joked. “A.M. [Hartung] is nice off the court, but on the court she is scary, she’s ferocious.”