UT breaks away with 13-0 surge in 2nd half
Aston said she was “not surprised” Texas looked sloppy. The Longhorns shot just 34 percent from the field and committed 17 turnovers — six by forward Nneka Enemkpali and 5 by McGee-Stafford.
Texas led 22-16 at halftime and Aston was not happy. Her message to the players at the break “was not pleasant” but Sanders did her part to lead a second-half charge.
Sanders, starting her first collegiate game, said it was her “dream to run through the smoke” during pregame introductions. With 10 points and a season-high eight rebounds, she was active on both ends of the court.
Sanders modestly said her role is “to do the little things” that help the team win. Her night included three steals and three assists.
Cornell rallied behind forwards Clare Fitzpatrick and Allyson DiMagno, who combined for 23 points. When DiMagno scored a bucket with 14:25 remaining, UT’s lead had been sliced to 29-25.
The Big Red, though, was held scoreless over the next six minutes. The taller Longhorns, who amassed a 48-28 rebounding edge, seemed to intimidate Cornell, which finished with just 10 points in the paint.
Sanders scored seven points during the 13-0 run. Point guard Celina Rodrigo, who had four assists and no turnovers, hit a three-pointer during the surge, her second trey of the season in 20 attempts.
McGee-Stafford, though, did not agree with that assessment, saying, “I don’t think we did anything tonight worthy of saying we intimidated anybody.”
Texas (7-2) had 22 offensive rebounds — compared to seven from Cornell — and earned a 13-2 edge in second-chance points.
The game was a homecoming for Cornell senior Kristina Danielak. The 2009 Liberty Hill High graduate scored 2 points on an 18-footer with 1:30 to play.
Texas played without three players: Cokie Reed (illness), Chelsea Bass (mild head injury) and Ashley Roberts (knee).
The Longhorns will break for the holidays today. Their next game will be at the Maggie Dixon Surf ‘N Turf Slam Dec. 28 and 29 in San Diego. Aston said she will spend much of her time off by watching film of UT’s next opponent, Iowa.
Cornell (5-5) is the first Ivy League team to play against Texas.