Despite struggling to pull away all night, Texas was able to capitalize when it mattered most and come away with a big conference win at the Frank Erwin Center on Wednesday.
After a couple clutch Iowa State free throws tied the game with 17.2 seconds to go, senior guard Yvonne Anderson was able to find a hole in the Cyclones zone and hit an off-balance floater to give the Longhorns the 62-60 lead with just a half second left in the game.
“The play was just designed to give us as many options as possible against the zone,” said Anderson, who had 14 points to go with eight assists and four steals on the night. “I got the ball at the end and knew it was time to attack.”
It originally appeared as if head coach Gail Goestenkors intended to give Chassidy Fussell a chance to win it, but as she struggled to penetrate the zone and make her move, the ball went to Anderson who attacked the basket.
“To be honest with you, I thought we were in good shape,” said Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly. “[Fussell] had the ball way away from the basket and the clock was running down. They threw the ball to [Anderson], and she made a good play gapping and hitting the runner. She hit a tough shot and that’s what good players do at big times.”
The game was a back and forth affair that featured eight ties and 12 lead changes.
As sophomore post Cokie Reed sat out with a foot injury for the second straight game and with senior Ashley Gayle in foul trouble, it was up to Texas’ guards to keep the team in it in the second half.
With the Longhorns trailing midway through the second half, the momentum swung with a big three followed by a steal on the Cyclones next possession that turned into two easy points.
“I try to come in off the bench and give our team a spark and bring high energy,” Bass said. “I embrace that role, I try to the best I can to give the team a spark every game.”
Fussell had another impressive performance as she poured in 20 points in 36 minutes, both game-highs. The sophomore standout was six of 11 from the field and had a team-high seven rebounds.
“I just had fun out there tonight,” Fussell said. ”My teammates got me the ball, so I was able to have a good night.”
Goestenkors was impressed with her team’s ability to hang around and come away with the victory.
“I’m proud of how the team stayed resilient even when Iowa State hit a couple big 3s and the shots weren’t falling for us,” Goestenkors said. “We found a way, and in this conference that’s what you have to do. You have to find a way to win it.”
Printed on Thursday, January 19, 2012 as: Pesky Cyclones put to rest by Fussell, Longhorns