Longhorns use 23-7 run to win second straight after drought in Big 12 play

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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".