If there’s a lesson to take away from the Longhorns’ win over the soon-to-be out of conference Aggies, it’s that senior guard Yvonne Anderson doesn’t mess around on senior night.
Just ask Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair about how important Anderson is to the Longhorns.
“Anderson played like she was playing for [head coach] Gail [Goestenkors] and her mom and dad today,” confessed Blair. “And that was the biggest key in the ball game.”
The night honoring a team’s senior players comes but once in a player’s career, and Anderson wasn’t going to go out without a bang.
She scored a career-high 25 points to go along with nine assists and three steals. Her nine assists helped set the tone of the game as she continually found her teammates in favorable positions on the court.
To commemorate the special night, Yvonne’s father Mike was able to watch his daughter play at Texas for the first time in her four years with the program.
Anderson served as Missouri’s head coach from 2006-2011 and is now head coach at Arkansas.
Anderson’s dominant performance Sunday afternoon proves that the Longhorns can indeed win over elite teams.
The win marks just the first time since 2004 that the Longhorns have swept the regular season conference series with the Aggies. Before the Longhorns’ win over the Aggies in College Station on Jan. 11 the Aggies had won 11 straight games in the series.
“We know that during the season we didn’t do what we needed to be in, and I think with these last three games we were trying to show that we do deserve to be in,” Anderson said.
Texas ends the regular season on a three-game win streak in conference play, its longest streak in the Big 12 this year. In the final three games, Anderson averaged 16.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.6 assists. Her improved play has helped the Longhorns immensely down the stretch and has opened up more scoring opportunities for her teammates.
“I think all the little things that we’ve have been preaching about like pushing the ball, playing with a sense of urgency, executing and taking care of the ball have really helped us in these last three games,” Anderson said.
Now that the regular season is over, the Longhorns conference record is set in stone at 8-10, which isn’t all that impressive at first glance. Dive a bit deeper and it’s easy to see why the Texas staff thinks an at-large bid is all but a lock at this point.
Of course, there’s still the conference tournament to play.
The Longhorns own the No. 8 seed in the conference tournament and will face No. 9 Texas Tech on Wednesday night.
“We know what our goal is: to get into the NCAA Tournament and obviously progress in the tournament,” Anderson said, “We’ve just been working more on the little things and have been attacking the boards more, had more of a sense of urgency, and we’ve hustled harder.”