UT breaks away with 13-0 surge in 2nd half

UT women

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - Con­tin­ued from Texas’ Na­dia Tay­lor (42) drives the lane against Cor­nell’s Aspen Chan­dler dur­ing the first half. RODOLFO GON­ZA­LEZ / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

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.

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