It's only fitting that the Longhorns face one of their oldest rivals during a time when the their tournament chances are up in the air.
Tonight's meeting between Texas (14-10, 4-8 Big 12) and Texas Tech (17-7, 5-7 Big 12) will be the 87th meeting between the schools, making it the longest-standing rivalry in Texas women's basketball history. The Longhorns have won the last five decisions at the Frank Erwin Center and have not lost to the Red Raiders in Austin since 2006. The Red Raiders do own the most recent win, which came on Jan. 28th in Lubbock. Overall, Texas holds a 60-26 advantage.
It's also a historic time for Texas head coach Gail Goestenkors. She is just two wins shy of her 100th victory at Texas (98-60) and six wins away from 500th career Division I victory.
The Longhorns are led once again by sophomore Chassidy Fussell who ranks second in Big 12 play, averaging 16.5 points per game. Texas has recently enjoyed an outburst of scoring from another sophomore as well. Forward Anne Marie Hartung has started the last three games and is averaging 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds over the stretch. Hartung is coming off a career night in Texas' last win over Oklahoma State where she played 34 minutes and added 17 points, both high points in her tenure.
Texas Tech was victorious in the last matchup, winning a close game 75-71 in Lubbock. Texas held a lead with 48 seconds remaining in the game, but an offensive putback by the Red Raiders' Jordan Barncastle gave Tech the lead for good. Barncastle scored 19 points in that game and was a big reason the Red Raiders were able to come out on top.
In Texas' eight conference losses it has averaged 17 turnovers per game. With that number in mind it becomes clear why the Longhorns have struggled so much in conference games. It's not always as simple as pointing out one statistic as a reason for a team's decline, but in games where Texas has turned the ball over less than 15 times they have fared much better.
The Longhorns will look to even the season series with the Red Raiders who employ a very balanced scoring attack on the offensive end of the court. No player averages more than 11.7 points per game (Kierra Mallard) while seven Red Raiders average over five points every game. The Red Raiders also rebound very well, averaging 43 boards as a team per game.