Fussell propels offense to run-and-gun victory

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In their continuing quest to define themselves as a unit, the Longhorns may have done just that on Sunday against Boston University.

The Longhorns runned-and-gunned their way to a 92-46 victory over the Terriers, behind Chassidy Fussell’s 20 points and Kathleen Nash’s 20 rebounds. Ashley Gayle added 16 rebounds of her own.

“This was a great game for us because [the Boston University Terriers] are very strong and physical,” said head coach Gail Goestenkors. “We had to work for everything we got and it wasn’t easy. Kat [Nash] and AG [Gayle] were monsters on the board and they ignited our transition game.”

The “transition game” was especially important for Texas. The Longhorns were able to push the ball at the fast pace they like due to the 25 turnovers they forced against the Terriers, and they netted 35 points off the turnovers and 25 fast-break points.

“Once we lost Cokie [Reed] we changed who we were going to be,” Goestenkors said. “We focused on pushing the ball and pushing the tempo and we were going to score a lot of points and do it in transition. Last game I said, ‘Okay I think our goal needs to be to score 100 points every game.’ Whether we do or we don’t that needs to be our mindset.”

The Longhorns tried to keep the ball moving with finesse, but they didn’t give up on being physical.

Though it is not an official statistic, Fussell led the Longhorns in time spent on the ground. On both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball, Fussell could be seen hitting the deck for loose balls, taking charges and getting fouled. Her hustle paid dividends giving her four steals, one block and eight rebounds in addition to her 20 points.

“I just felt like they’re going to come at me, so I’m going to come at them,” Fussell said. “That’s my mindset when I play. I’ve got to be fearless.”

The final score may be a bit misleading considering how close the game was in the much of the first half. Texas trailed for the first time this season 11-9 at one point, but after regaining the lead, they never looked back.

With their 92-point performance the Longhorns have scored over 90 points in each of the first three games, a feat they haven’t accomplished since 1992. Nash’s 20 rebounds were the most by a Longhorn since 2005.

Their victory let Texas fans know that when they fatigue their opponents with their mobility, Texas is virtually unstoppable. It is a style they are trying to perfect as they prepare to take on Stanford, Michigan State, Tennessee and the tough Big 12 in the coming weeks.

But for now, Goestenkors and her team are celebrating a commanding win over a team she said was the best they’ve faced so far.

“We made them [Boston University] look bad,” she said.