Imani McGee-Stafford

Imani McGee-Stafford led the Longhorns with 22 points and eight rebounds. She also tied with sophomore guard Brady Sanders for a team high of four turnovers. Texas ended up turning the ball over 25 times.
Photo Credit: Ellyn Snider | Daily Texan Staff

After taking down Oklahoma last week, Texas’ struggles returned Saturday. 

Junior center Imani McGee-Stafford scored 22 points with eight rebounds, but turnovers plagued Texas as it fell to TCU, 64–59, in Fort Worth.

The Longhorns played well in the first half, jumping to an early 8–0 start. However, Texas’ turnover problems came back in full force, allowing the Horned Frogs to gain momentum. In the first half, the Longhorns had 15 turnovers, most of which they caused themselves. 

As a result of those unforced turnovers, Texas did not have as many opportunites to score.

In the second half, TCU heated up from behind the arc, shooting 64 percent, while Texas turned the ball over 10 more times to increase its total to 25.

The Longhorns had a chance to slip away with a victory after they tied the game at 57 with less than two-and-a-half minutes remaining — but TCU forward Chelsea Prince hit a 3-pointer soon after, and the Horned Frogs scored 5 quick points to claim their fifth Big 12 win.

McGee-Stafford led Texas with her season-best game, which included scoring 16 of Texas’ 24 first-half points, but she comitted four turnovers. Sophomore center Kelsey Lang and freshman guard Ariel Atkins also claimed double-digit point totals with 13 each.

Texas, who was the preseason favorite to win the Big 12, now faces a challenge halfway through the conference schedule. The Longhorns have lost five of their last seven games and have since moved to fifth place in the Big 12. Unfortunately, Texas’ schedule only gets tougher from here.

The Longhorns travel north to Manhattan, Kansas, to face Kansas State on Wednesday before hosting Baylor at home. The Wildcats sit just one place behind Texas while the Bears currently hold first place in the conference, ahead of Oklahoma and Iowa State.

Freshman guard Ariel Atkins dominated the game for the Longhorns with 21 points in the 84-81 double overtime win Thursday night.
Photo Credit: Ellyn Snider | Daily Texan Staff

Head coach Karen Aston finally captured a major milestone Thursday night. 

Aston achieved her 150th victory with the No. 14 Longhorns after beating No. 24 Oklahoma in double overtime 84–81. 

“Just really, really proud of our basketball team,” Aston said. “Obviously we’ve been through some adversity the last couple of weeks. We’ve been in a little bit of a lull, but hopefully this will give us some excitement.”

Freshman guard Ariel Atkins started things off by winning the tip and immediately putting two points on the board for Texas. However, the Longhorns found themselves behind for most of the first 30 minutes despite Atkins’ 7 points in the first half. 

At the break, Oklahoma led 33–30, and the Sooners started the second half with 4 straight points that forced Aston to call a timeout. 

That’s when Texas started its comeback. 

Junior guard Brady Sanders knocked down a 3-point shot, closing the gap to within 10. Shortly after, sophomore center Kelsey Lang drew a foul and completed a 3-point play, leaving Texas down by only 4 points. 

The Longhorns held Oklahoma to just 38.5 percent shooting in the second half and out-rebounded the Sooners 31–28. Several players finished with multiple blocks, including junior center Imani McGee-Stafford, whose block late in the game pushed the momentum back to Texas. McGee-Stafford also had her best game since returning from her injury, but the win mattered more to her. 

“I didn’t even know I had a good game until now,” McGee-Stafford said. “I just care about winning. It’s nice to know I am playing better, but I’m just focused on winning.”

Following Sanders’ layup that tied the game, junior guard Empress Davenport made two free throws, giving the Longhorns the lead with 5:30 left. However, Oklahoma would eventually even it up to send the game to overtime.  

One extra period wouldn’t be enough, though, as the game went into a second overtime. With a minute left, Lang scored to give Texas the lead, which it held for the remainder of the game. 

“A lot of players made a lot of plays,” Aston said. “Everybody that came in the game contributed, which is what I said all along from the very beginning this team has to be about.”

Atkins tallied a career-high 21 points, while four other Longhorns shot in the double-digits. 

Texas will take on TCU in Fort Worth on Sunday.

With the help of UTSA shooting 2-for-30 from the three-point line in Austin on Sunday, Texas started the season on the right foot, defeating the Roadrunners 63-42. The Longhorns were led by sophomore center Imani McGee-Stafford who recorded 16 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks off the bench.

“Imani’s working herself back into the lineup and conditioning,” head coach Karen Aston said. “It’s a work in progress to get her back to where she finished the season last summer.”

The Longhorns started strong and never forfeited the lead, reaching a 27-4 advantage through the first seven minutes of play. They maintained a lead and finished the half up with a dominating 33-12 lead.

UTSA came out stronger and more aggressive in the second half, but it paired eight points in the first 5:24 with a slew of fouls sending Texas to the bonus just minutes later. Both teams believed size played a major role in the score differential, although it wasn’t the only factor.

“They didn’t shrink at half time, and we didn’t get bigger,” UTSA head coach Lubomyr Lichonczak said after the Roadrunners second-half run.

As 5-foot-9-inch Roadrunner Akunna Elonu guarded 6-foot-7-inch McGee-Stafford, Stafford noted the change in game play such a matchup requires.

“It’s frustrating because you have to over exaggerate the fundamentals and work harder,” McGee-Stafford said. “You should be getting better position when they’re smaller so it’s hard, but I’m still working on having the same intensity no matter who I play.”

Senior guard Chassidy Fussell scored 18 points, sinking eight straight free throws in addition to 5-for-12 shooting from the field. 

Texas resumes play Wednesday night versus Texas State at 7 p.m. at the Frank Erwin Center.

When Texas lost to Kansas in January, junior guard Chassidy Fussell was suspended for one game for breaking team rules.

Photo Credit: Marisa Vasquez | Daily Texan Staff

The last Texas losing streak spanned nine games. Another loss will put them more than half way there.

The Longhorns enter their Big 12 matchup with Kansas on Wednesday on a four-game losing streak. The last time the teams met Kansas dismantled the Longhorns by 38 points, their worst loss of the season.

Over the weekend Texas dropped a close game to Texas Tech by a score of 69-62. Junior Chassidy Fussell showcased her shooting capabilities that have been absent during the current losing streak, pouring in a game-high 27 points.

Imani McGee-Stafford, who has played well all season long, recorded her 10th double-double of the season against the Red Raiders with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Despite her dominance in the paint, Texas failed to close out a tough game down the stretch.

Texas outshot Tech from the field 51.1 percent to 36.7 percent, and even outrebounded the Raiders 39-28, something the Longhorns have done in most of their games this season. However, the Longhorns committed 24 turnovers, something they’ve also done all season long, allowing the Raiders to tally 26 points off of those turnovers.

Although Texas played its last game against Kansas without Fussell and Nneka Enemkpali, who were suspended for violating team rules, its zero players in double-figure scoring stole any chance for a victory.

Texas will need big performances inside from McGee-Stafford and Enemkpali, who will be expected to outrebound the Jayhawks and put pressure on their guards to make plays. When their post players play smart at both ends of the floor, the Longhorns are able to find ways to get their guards going, much like Fussell did behind McGee-Stafford’s effort last time against Tech. 

Kansas’ Carolyn Davis, who leads the team with 15.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, set the tone with 18 points in the last matchup. The Texas backcourt will need to be on its toes or turnovers will send the team to another defeat.

When Longhorns rebound, they get shots. When they protect the ball, they usually win games. 

Texas will need consistency and dominant post play if it wants to claim the sequel and prevent a fifth-straight loss. 

Published on February 20, 2013 as "Jayhawks threaten to fuel Longhorns' losing streak".

Freshman Imani McGee-Stafford, fighting off a Kansas State defender in a Jan. 26 win, scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a 61-56 win over TCU last Saturday. 

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Texas (9-11, 2-7) has another reason to celebrate as it comes back from Fort Worth with its second conference victory under its belt. The Longhorns powered past struggling TCU (7-13, 0-9) on Saturday in a 61-56 win.

The Longhorns were once again led by the post duo of freshman Imani McGee-Stafford and sophomore Nneka Enemkpali. McGee-Stafford, who was last week’s Big 12 Freshman of the Week, recorded a career-high 23 points while adding 13 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season. She was 13-of-14 from the free throw line.

Enemkpali added her 10th double-double of the season, accumulating 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Longhorns. The forward from Pflugerville also led the team in steals for the sixth time this season, recording three of them.

The Longhorns, who are now 32-0 all-time against TCU, got off to a slow start as they let the Horned Frogs jump to a quick 9-0 lead before Chassidy Fussell added a three-pointer to get her team on the board. TCU held an 11-point lead just before the Longhorns forced a 23-7 run of their own, including a 16-2 stretch over the last eight minutes of the half, bringing it to an end with a 26-23 lead.

The second half, however, wasn’t as one-sided as the two teams traded runs the whole time. Texas had a 10-point lead with just over seven minutes to play but the Horned Frogs cut that lead to two points on four separate occasions within the last three minutes. A big three by TCU guard Natalie Ventress gave her team momentum and a chance at the end.

“That was a big three that we gave up to Ventress, who hit it at the top of the key,” head coach Karen Aston said. “That was a big game changer for us and I think it rattled us a little bit. Ventress went off on us in the second half and that’s why I think we struggled a little bit more. “

Texas is coming off of a nine-game drought where it went 0-7 in Big 12 play. However, as it still sits in the basement of the Big 12 standings, its last two wins against TCU and Kansas State have the Longhorns at 2-7.

“It was an extremely hard fought game,” Aston said. “Both teams played extremely hard. They’re both searching and really digging for wins in the Big 12 right now. You can tell by watching us play that we are the youngest teams in the Big 12. We make mistakes. It was a competitive game.”

Published on February 4, 2013 as "Horns claim second straight win". 

Freshman guard Celina Rodrigo celebrates with her teammates after a decisive victory against Big 12 foe Kansas State to break a nine-game losing streak.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Finally, a reason to celebrate. 

Reeling after a nine-game losing streak, the Longhorns (8-11, 1-7 Big 12) stomped Kansas State (12-8, 3-5 Big 12), 59-40, Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center for their first conference victory of the season.

Led by two of its young leaders, Nneka Enemkpali and Imani McGee-Stafford, Texas’ win against its Big 12 foe brought it to eight wins on the season and gave it a spark of confidence going into the last third of its season.

Sophomore forward Enemkpali recorded her ninth double-double of the season, leading the Longhorns with 20 points and 16 rebounds. McGee-Stafford was just as impressive with 18 points and 11 rebounds, marking her seventh double-double of the season.

“It was sort of like the Red Sea had parted and any shot those two wanted, by and large, they got,” Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said. “Once they felt like they could score and they were going to get those touches, they really capitalized.”

Although Kansas State got out to a nine point lead midway through the first half, Texas pressured its opponent to keep the game close. With just over 30 seconds left in the half, junior Chassidy Fussell brought her team to within two points of the Wildcats where it stayed at 24-26 going into halftime.

Texas dominated the second half, however, outscoring the Wildcats 35-14. Kansas State, after opening up the game with hot shooting, missed 13 of its next 16 three-point attempts.

“Late in the first half, we talked about picking up our pressure on the basketball,” head coach Karen Aston said. “Initially we thought we had to play a little bit safe to guard penetration, but once they realized they could put pressure on the ball and extend their defense a little bit more, they carried that over in the second half really well.”

Another advantage the Longhorns held over their visitors from Manhattan was height. McGee-Stafford came in as Texas’ tallest player at 6 feet 7 inches while Kansas State’s tallest player was six inches under her at 6 feet 1 inch. Texas outrebounded its opponent 47-26 while also outscoring them 34-10 in the paint.

“I thought they [Longhorns] were terrific from the very get go,” Aston said. “Establishing themselves in the paint. They worked harder longer. They have had games were they worked hard and have done some good things, but this time it was a complete game.”

After losing multiple close games in such a competitive conference, Texas was able to complete a full game of poised team play.

“It [the win] means a lot,” Aston said. “I don’t want to discount that at all because they have been trying and it’s not like we weren’t close in some games. I thought we played well at Iowa State, we just didn’t get the win.”