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McCarty’s poise powers Texas past floundering Tennessee

Texas defeated Tennessee in a knock down drag out contest Saturday afternoon, behind the smart play of their junior point guard.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Bridgeport Regional-Connecticut vs Texas David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Austin, TX-- The 17th ranked Texas Longhorns kept their composure in a game that would come down to the wire, as they defeated the Tennessee Lady Vols 72-67. It was a game filled with lead changes, and uncertainty, particularly during the second half when Tennessee mounted a comeback.

Yet amid that uncertainty, there was one constant: Texas point guard, Brooke McCarty. She finished the night with 13 points, four rebounds and four assists, and during the second half seemed as if she would will the Longhorns to a win all by herself if that’s what it took.

In the first half, her only points came on two three-pointers during the first quarter, and yet McCarty was still very clearly running the Texas offense and creating plays for her center Kelsey Lang. Lang would finish the first half with 10 points and six rebounds.

Texas went into the locker room with a 37-32 lead, in large part due to their floor general. And yet when the third quarter began, the Longhorns looked lackluster.

That’s when McCarthy began to push the tempo to ensure that Texas never got too far out of the game. Especially after they went the first 4:30 of the third without scoring. -- and after losing forward Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau to an injury in the first thirty seconds of the third.

And while McCarty is great at pushing the tempo for her teammates and the Longhorn’s offense, perhaps she is even better at changing her speed and knowing the key times to push the tempo. A good point guard has quickness, but the great point guards know how and when to use that quickness. McCarty is without a doubt the latter.

Her ability to change speeds kept the Lady Vols guessing, and allowed the Vols to regain a two-point lead to end the third, and they would lengthen that lead out to as many as eight with a minute and a half to go in the fourth.

Tennessee scored six points in the final 14 seconds of the game to try and mount a comeback, but behind McCarty’s poise, the Longhorns would stave off defeat.

The Longhorns now improve their record to 3-4 on the year, (they maintained the ranking due to the fact that their four losses came to four teams ranked in the top 11) and will play UT Rio Grande Valley on Thursday.