By RENALDO DORSETT
BAHAMIAN basketball standout Lashann Higgs came to the University of Texas women’s basketball programme with high expectations and the freshman has delivered thus far.
Higgs scored a career high 18 points to lead the No.8 Longhorns to an upset win in a marquee season matchup over the No. Tennessee Volunteers 64-53 Sunday at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Austin, Texas.
She came off the bench to shoot 6-14 in 20 minutes, including 3-5 from three-point range and also added five rebounds in 20 minutes. Over 10,000 fans were on hand to watch the Big 12/SEC rivalry.
“I am really proud of our team’s mentality,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said. “We’ve talked a lot about how we had to have a better road mentality. It was a bit of an ugly game, but it usually is an aggressive game when these two teams play. Our defence from a team perspective was extremely good and we stayed disciplined defensively. Our guards made good decisions, especially in the first half, and that gave us a lot of confidence. The exciting thing is, I think we can get a lot better, but I am very proud of how we came in and played with a great road mentality today.”
For her efforts, Higgs was named Big 12 Freshman of the week yesterday by the conference. She led the Longhorns in scoring during the week with averages of 15 points and seven rebounds per game.
Last Wednesday, Higgs notched her first career collegiate double double with 12 points and a team high 10 rebounds in a win over Hampton.
Texas returns to action on Wednesday when it plays host to No. 8 Mississippi State Bulldogs at 8pm.
The Harbour Island native came into the season heralded as the preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year, but went 0-9 from the field against UT-San Anonio. She followed up with two points and six rebounds against Northwestern State before a breakout 10-rebound, six-point performance against Rice.
Higgs was consensus All-American at Cedar Ridge High School (Round Rock, Texas), and emerged as the No. 7-ranked player overall and third-ranked guard in the class of 2015, according to ESPN.com.
Higgs averaged 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists per game in her senior season for a Cedar Ridge team that reached the third round of the University Interscholastic League’s Class 6A playoffs in Texas.
Her list of accolades at the high school level included the USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA First-Team and the Max Preps Girls Basketball All-American Second-Team.
Higgs’ list of honours for the 2014-15 season also included a Naismith Trophy top-five finalist, Naismith Trophy All-America First Team, McDonald’s All-American, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American, USA Today ALL-USA First Team, Austin American-Statesman Central, Texas Player of the Year, Jordan Brand Classic, Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 6A All-State and University Interscholastic League District 13-6A MVP.