Nash's 20 points lead No. 10 Texas 96-52Nov 21, 2009 - 4:00 AM By JIM VERTUNO AP Sports Writer
AUSTIN, Texas(AP) -- Texas was already well on its way to a blowout victory when forward Ashley Gayle took an outlet pass and bolted for the basket.
This was her chance. She grabbed the ball and went high for the dunk.
Just not high enough.
She instead tossed the ball over the rim - and missed. Her coach laughed. Nothing wrong with having a little fun on a Friday night during a 96-52 romp over North Texas.
"I've dunked but not in a game," the 6-foot-4 Gayle said. "I've waited for that outlet pass a long time."
Texas coach Gail Goestenkors didn't mind the miscue in an otherwise near perfect game.
"I'm glad she tried it," Goestenkors said. "If it was a two-point game, I might not have been as pleased."
Kat Nash scored 20 points, hitting four 3-pointers, and led six Texas players in double figures. Gayle finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks.
Texas (2-1) needed the laugher after an 83-58 blowout loss to No. 1 UConn three days earlier in San Antonio. The Longhorns are pushing for a return to the nation's elite in the program's third year under Goestenkors, and that loss just showed they are still far from closing the gap on the Huskies.
"I don't think we lost our confidence, but we understand to be a great team, we need to play with a high level of intensity, a high level of focus, for 40 minutes," Goestenkors said.
Jasmine Godbolt scored 11 points to lead North Texas (0-3).
Texas played fast and loose against the Mean Green (0-3), who were no match for the Longhorns' size or speed. Gayle and Cokie Reed easily posted up smaller defenders and Nash ran off North Texas players for open 3-pointers.
Reed scored six straight points and Gayle scored seven to push the Longhorns to a 30-16 lead midway through the first half. Nash made consecutive 3-pointers from the right corner and Texas took a 44-25 advantage into halftime.
Nash was 7-of-10 shooting from the floor and made four 3-pointers, while Texas shot 56 percent and scored 46 points in the paint.
"Too easy. Those 2-foot shots will kill you," North Texas coach Shanice Stephens said.
Defensively, Texas forced 26 turnovers and turned them into 39 points.
"We're at our best when we play pressure defense," Goestenkors said.
As for Gayle's dunk attempt, it could be a while before she tries one again. It has to come at just the right moment and she doesn't like to try in practice because Goestenkors isn't so kind behind closed doors.
"Missed layups equal sprints," Gayle said.
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