More about: RSS | Wireless Wireless

SPORTS

E-MAIL PRINT MOST E-MAILED Share

Wade Barker
ASSOCIATED PRESS

A&M's Takia Sparks, left, scored a game-high 18 points, including the three-pointer that put the Aggies ahead for good with 14 minutes to go.

Wade Barker
ASSOCIATED PRESS

'Anytime you can force Texas on their heels, you're going to take advantage of that,' Aggie guard Takia Starks said.

MORE SPORTS NEWS

LONGHORNS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Turnovers sink Texas women against Aggies, 76-65

Season-high number of giveaways negate Longhorn D


AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Sunday, February 22, 2009

COLLEGE STATION — It's a good bet that Gail Goestenkors didn't enjoy her team's version of the give-and-go offense Saturday against Texas A&M.

The Longhorns repeatedly gave up the basketball and watched the Aggies go for uncontested layups. In what promised to be a tight game, the Longhorns coughed up a season-high 29 turnovers, and the Aggies responded with a 76-65 victory before 5,840 at Reed Arena.

A&M (20-5, 8-4 Big 12) finished its season sweep of Texas (19-7, 7-5) and is 4-0 against the Horns over the past two seasons.

Goestenkors and Aggies coach Gary Blair both said the turning point came with Texas holding a 17-10 lead midway through the first half. The Aggies, unable to penetrate UT's 2-3 zone defense, picked up their defensive tempo.

By the time the first half ended, A&M led 31-27, a deflating turnabout for the Horns.

"Anytime you can force Texas on their heels, you're going to take advantage of that," said A&M senior guard Takia Starks, who led both teams with 18 points.

Goestenkors repeatedly called timeouts, hoping Texas would find an offensive groove. The Aggies shot only 38 percent from the field in the first half but found a way to rally with the help of the Longhorns' 15 turnovers.

"We had some really senseless turnovers," Goestenkors said. "It wasn't necessary to force things that weren't there. I also give A&M credit because they put great pressure on the ball. It was a bad combination for us."

Texas' starting guards, Carla Cortijo and Brittainey Raven, each scored 16 points but combined for nine turnovers.

UT received minimal offensive support from its centers, Ashley Lindsey (2 points) and Ashley Gayle (scoreless). Unable to find a rhythm against A&M's aggressive frontcourt, they played only nine minutes apiece. Forward Kathleen Nash had a team-high 11 rebounds but finished with only two points, 10 below her season average.

Despite its inability to hang onto the basketball, Texas took a 36-35 lead with 14:26 to go in the second half on guard Erika Arriaran's 16-foot jumper.

Starks responded with a three-pointer 30 seconds later to give A&M the lead for good, 38-36. That was the beginning of an 18-5 run for the Aggies over the next five minutes, a surge that was helped by five Texas turnovers.

The rally was capped by a layup by Adaora Elonu, which gave A&M a 53-41 cushion with nine minutes to play.

Goestenkors said her team's inability to improve upon its 17-10 lead in the first half was costly. Given A&M's frigid early shooting, Texas could have built a double-digit lead if its players had kept a better grasp of the ball.

"When we had 15 turnovers at halftime, I didn't think that was a good sign," she said. "When you take away 15 of your opportunities to score, you really hurt yourself.

A&M's victory set up a televised showdown Monday against second-ranked Oklahoma. Aggies coach Blair said he hopes to draw at least 11,000 fans to Reed Arena.

"If you don't want to watch the No. 2 team in the nation, you might as well stay home and watch 'Dancing with the Stars' or something," he said.

rcantu@statesman.com; 445-3953

14-Texas A&M 76, 12-Texas 65

FG FT Reb

TEXAS Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Cortijo 30 5-9 3-4 2-3 3 3 16

KaNash 25 0-4 2-2 1-11 0 1 2

Raven 33 6-12 3-4 0-4 3 5 16

Gayle 9 0-2 0-0 1-1 0 2 0

Fontenette 26 5-7 0-0 0-3 3 4 11

Williams 23 1-2 4-5 2-6 1 5 6

Arriaran 15 1-6 0-0 0-0 1 1 2

Anderson 14 2-4 3-5 1-1 0 3 7

KrNash 13 1-1 1-2 1-3 0 1 3

Lindsey 9 0-1 2-2 2-2 0 1 2

Cook 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Totals 200 21-48 18-24 11-37 11 27 65

Percentages: FG .438, FT .750. 3-Point Goals: 5-16, .313 (Cortijo 3-5, KaNash 0-2, Raven 1-4, Fontenette 1-2, Arriaran 0-3). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 1 (Gayle). Turnovers: 29 (Cortijo 4, KaNash 4, Raven 5, Gayle 2, Fontenette 4, Williams, Arriaran 2, Anderson 4, KrNash, Lindsey, Cook). Steals: 9 (Cortijo, Raven 4, Fontenette, Williams, Arriaran, Anderson). Technical fouls: None.

FG FT Reb

TEX A&M Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Starks 40 4-16 8-10 0-2 3 2 18

Micheaux 31 1-2 2-4 2-4 0 4 4

Smith 33 3-7 4-8 1-3 6 1 11

Colson 22 3-8 4-4 1-2 4 3 10

Gant 26 5-9 2-3 7-11 2 2 12

Buchanan 6 1-1 0-1 1-1 1 0 2

Carter 11 1-4 0-0 0-1 2 2 3

White 15 3-6 0-2 0-1 0 1 6

Elonu 14 5-6 0-0 1-1 0 4 10

Assarian 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Totals 200 26-59 20-32 15-33 18 20 76

Percentages: FG .441, FT .625. 3-Point Goals: 4-12, .333 (Starks 2-4, Smith 1-2, Colson 0-2, Carter 1-3, White 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: None. Turnovers: 16 (Starks 2, Smith 6, Colson 4, Gant, Carter 2, Elonu). Steals: 15 (Starks 3, Smith 3, Colson 4, Gant 2, Buchanan, Carter, Elonu). Technical fouls: None.

Texas 27 38 — 65

Texas A&M 31 45 — 76

A: 5,840. Officials: Lisa Mattingly, Mary Day, Bryan Enterline.

Vote for this story!

Your Comments

Austinites love to be heard, and we're giving you a bullhorn. We just ask that you keep things civil. Leave out the personal attacks. Do not use profanity, ethnic or racial slurs, or take shots at anyone's sexual orientation or religion. If you can't be nice, we reserve the right to remove your material and ban users who violate our visitor's agreement

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Advertisement
Advertisement
Statesman Top Jobs