FREEPORT, Bahamas - Freshman Erika Arriaran scored 14 points, including the basket that put Texas up for good, and fellow newcomer Ashley Lindsey had a critical block to keep to help the 18th-ranked Longhorns beat South Carolina 59-55 at the Junkanoo Jam on Friday.
The new players got to shine with Texas star Tiffany Jackson on the bench for much of the game in foul trouble. The Longhorns (2-1) needed somebody to raise to raise their game - and Arriaran and Lindsey did just that down the stretch.
The Gamecocks (2-1) led by as much as seven points early and were still ahead 55-52 with 4:26 to go. Arriaran then hit two straight jumpers to put Texas in front 56-55.
South Carolina had its best chance to retake the lead moments later with Lauren Simms driving the lane for what looked like an uncontested layup. However, Lindsey reached up and got a piece of the shot, protecting Texas' lead. She added a foul shot and Nina Norman had two more in the final 30 seconds to hold off the Gamecocks.
Norman had 13 points for the Longhorns, while Lindsey had eight points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.
Jackson finished with eight points on 4-of-9 shooting. Texas coach Jody Conradt tried everything she could think of to get her best player going, even drawing a technical foul in the second half as she protested to officials on what she thought was an uncalled foul on Jackson.
When the game ended, the Texas players swarmed the middle of the court, celebrating the victory. The Longhorns move on to play George Washington, a 49-47 winner over No. 19 Purdue in the tournament's first game.
South Carolina was led by Simms and Iva Sliskovic, who had 12 points each. Sliskovic also had 10 rebounds.
Early on, the Longhorns looked a step slower than South Carolina. Jackson's absence might have been a big reason why, as she played only 10 minutes and took only one shot.
Jackson was back in to start the second half, but was pulled again with about 14 minutes left after getting her fourth foul.