Forced to readjust in the off-season, the speedy offense has proven key to Texas. But confirming they’re capable of adapting to the speedy offense comes with the need for a defensive mindset as well.
“If we want to run, and we do, then we have got to rebound first,” said head coach Gail Goestenkors. “It’s rebound then run. But if we don’t get that rebound we won’t be successful in our running game.”
While the No. 17 Longhorns have only played one game this season, the hard work the squad has been putting in during the off-season as well as practices showed in last Friday’s win over Mississippi Valley State.
Texas forced 26 turnovers, accounting for 38 of their total points in the 92-60 win.
But the Longhorns’ impressive running game was disrupted with the 24 turnovers they allowed their opponents to take advantage of.
“Obviously we had too many turnovers, and we’ll have to look at that,” Goestenkors said. “We have to be able to come out strong and sustain that throughout the game.”
A few days of rest and time to work out some of the kinks may be just what the squad needs to be successful with their fast-paced offense.
In what was many players’ first regular season game as a Longhorn, the guidance the veteran players provided was crucial. Senior Kathleen Nash was a role model for the younger players as she posted 19 points last Friday. Junior Yvonne Anderson also finished with a solid 18 points, a career high.
“We have to be a transition team this year,” Anderson said. “We don’t have a choice, so we have to push the ball as much as possible, as fast as possible so we can get fast, quality shots. We’re still getting used to that.”
The Longhorns welcome Northwestern State tonight, in their first-ever meeting with the Lady Demons.
The Lady Demons have been readying to step up their game for their first matchup against a ranked opponent since the 2004 NCAA tournament, in a game against then-Duke head coach Goestenkors’ top-ranked team.
“It’s going to be a very different ball game on Tuesday,” said NWS head coach Jennifer Graf. “Hopefully we’ll realize that and continue to improve each and every day. Texas is going to be tough. They have five freshmen on their roster so they have a lot of new faces, too, but we’re excited about it.”
Equally critical for Texas is the honing of their fast-break game. In last Friday’s win, the team posted 14 fast break points in the last few minutes of the game.
“We are just going to continue to grow together,” Goestenkors said. “I think it’s going to be an exciting team. They are going to be fun to watch. We had some lulls [on Friday], but we are ready.”