Women's Hoops: Horns Open Tourney With Big Win

Freshman forward Tiffany Jackson (Dallas, Texas) netted a game-high 21 point and team-high seven rebounds, while junior guard Jamie Carey (Thornton, Colo./Horizon HS) followed with 18 points, as the West Region's No. 1 seed Texas rolled to a 92-57 win over No. 16 seed Southern University Sunday night at the Frank Erwin Center in front of 8,271.

Texas is the nation's No. 4 ranked team and is playing in the NCAA Championship as the No. 1 seed for the first time since 1988. UT's 92 points tied its second most points of the season as the Longhorns connected on 52.5 percent of their field goals, hitting 31 of 59 shots. Texas was 24-for-34 from the foul line, while Southern went to the line only eight times, making seven free throws.

Texas, now 29-4, advances to the NCAA second round to face No. 8 seed Michigan State, a 72-60 winner over No. 9 seed Arizona late Sunday night in Austin. That second round game is on Tuesday, March 23 at 8:30 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2. MSU (22-8) was led by 18 points from sophomore guard Lindsey Bowen and a double-double of 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds from sophomore forward Liz Shimek.

Southern, the SWAC Conference tournament champions, ends its season at 17-13.

The Longhorns jumped out to a 13-0 lead 3:11 into the game, extended that to 34-11 with 7:36 to go in the half, and never looked back. Texas hit five of its first seven shots, led by two 3-pointers from junior forward Heather Schreiber (Windthorst, Texas/Windthorst HS), while Southern went 0-4 with two turnovers in that opening 13-0 run by Texas.

Texas led by a 33-point margin at intermission (55-22), with those 55 points the most points scored in half this season by the Longhorns. Carey triggered the first half lead while scoring 16 of her 18 points in the first 20 minutes. UT shot a sizzling 61.8 percent in the half, making 21 of 34 shots, while limited Southern to 34.6 percent shooting. The Jaguars made nine of 26 attempted shots.

For the game, Texas limited Southern to 36.7 percent shooting, as the Jaguars connected on 22 of 60 field goals attempted. Texas also dominated in rebounding, holding a 45-27 edge on the boards. UT also held the advantage in points off turnovers, scoring 21 off Jaguar turnovers while Southern netted eight, and in bench points (20-0) and points in the paint, where UT scored 36 to Southern's 22. Texas turned the ball over only 12 times - its lowest turnover total in six games - while Southern committed 16 turnovers.

The win for Texas also was its 35th consecutive home court win, the nation's longest current home court win streak. UT also improves to 15-0 at home this season, with one game (Tuesday night's second round) remaining at the Erwin Center. Texas is now 6-1 in its last seven NCAA Championship Tournament games, having gone 4-1 a year ago while advancing to the 2003 NCAA Women's Final Four in Atlanta.

Jackson's 21 points were one shy of her career high, as she shot 8-for-11 from the floor and five-for-nine in free throws. Carey was a perfect four-for-four in 3-pointers, and also went four-for-four in free throws, for her 18 points. Those four 3-pointers made were one shy of Carey's season best.

Joining them in double-figure scoring were Schreiber with 15 points, sophomore guard Coco Reed (Houston, Texas/Jersey Village HS) who came off the bench to net 11, and sophomore guard Nina Norman (Houston, Texas/Jersey Village HS) who chipped in with 10 points and five assists.

Southern had three players finish in double-digit scoring, with 16 points each from sophomore forward Ashley Blake and sophomore guard Rolanda Monroe. Senior forward Shere Cunningham finished with 11 points. Blake led all players with eight rebounds.

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