For Texas, Tuesday night’s game was a chance for the Longhorns to redeem themselves.
But after a lethargic first-half start, junior Yvonne Anderson took the reigns, steering her squad to victory.
“I was a little disappointed with how I came out in the first half, and I knew there was no way I was going to let this game just end that way,” Anderson said. “I knew I wanted to come out and just be aggressive and do the things I know I can do. I know I can make shot, and in the second half I just wanted to show everyone else I could do that, too.”
After a tough loss against Baylor last Saturday, the Longhorns (17-8, 6-5 Big 12) knew they needed to get back on track. For Anderson, that meant stepping up her game in an effort to boost Texas back over the .500 standing.
A regular starter, Anderson played a total of 36 minutes in Texas’ 67-55 win over Nebraska on Tuesday.
But like the entire Texas squad, Anderson’s first-half performance was lackluster. The guard missed seven of her nine shot attempts in the first half. She also turned the ball over twice in a span of 20 seconds with 14 minutes left in the half.
After Anderson scored only four points in the first half, head coach Gail Goestenkors took the liberty of saying a few things to the guard during halftime.
“Basically I said she needed to shoot the ball like she expected it to go in instead of shooting it and hoping it went in,” Goestenkors said.
Anderson took her coach’s words to heart as she picked up her momentum in the second half — opening the half for the Longhorns by sinking a swoosh-worthy three from behind the arc.
After that, there was no stopping the Longhorns or Anderson. The guard quickly nabbed a fast-break steal, which she easily converted into two points for her squad.
Anderson’s speed and agility in the second half proved to be too much for Nebraska as the Huskers never came back within striking distance.
“Yvonne and some others did a good job of hounding [Nebraska guard Lindsey Moore],” said Nebraska head coach Connie Yori. “Yvonne was a really big key to what [Texas] did today.”
The guard’s 17 points Tuesday night marked her 15th double-digit scoring effort for the season as she went 7-for-15 from the field. With her point total she also co-led the Longhorns in scoring, with freshman Chassidy Fussell, for the third time this season. Her last top scoring efforts this season came in a win versus Cincinnati and during the next game at San Diego.
“In the first half she wasn’t playing with the confidence we need her to play with, but in the second half she shot with a lot more confidence,” Goestenkors said.
Anderson also contributed on the defensive front for Texas with the four steals she accumulated.
“This game was really physical tonight,” Goestenkors said. “I was very happy for Yvonne.”