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NCAAW Basketball – 1987 – Women’s Midwest Regional Finals – University of Texas VS Ole Miss

DOG COMMENTARY:    

The 1987-88 Texas Longhorns Women’s Basketball Team completed the season by winning 32 games and losing just 3 games….as they swept the SWC with a 16 – 0 record….and advanced through the NCAA Tournament to the Elite Eights….where they lost to Long Beach State….but in this Midwest Regional Finals game….the Longhorns would slip by the Rebels from Ole Miss by a score of 66 – 63….in what was a very close and exciting game played at the Erwin Center on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin.

This Longhorn team was led by two womens basketball Hall of Fame players in G Kamie Ethridge and F Andrea Lloyd….along with G Beverly Williams, F Fran Harris and C Annette Smith….but the story we at Ima Sportsphile want to tell of this team is the story of their head coach Jody Conradt….whose legendary career at the helm in Austin started in 1975….in response to passage of Title IX….creating opportunity in college sports that women did not have before…..as the University of Texas created a separate women’s athletic department…..and hired Donna Lopiano to become the first women’s athletic director at the University of Texas in Austin, TX….when in the following year, Lopiano hired Conradt as coach of the women’s basketball team….as Conradt had attracted national attention while at the University of Texas at Arlington….where after two losing seasons, they went 23–11 in the 1975–76 season….while upsetting powerful opponents.  Texas planned to bring the women’s program to national prominence….and they felt Conradt was the right coach for the job….for teams coached by Condradt were using tactics not seen in many other places….such as full court pressure, double low posts and a transition game.         

The Lady Horns went 36–10 in Coach Conradt’s 1st season at Texas….which began a trend where the team was ranked in the AP top ten in the nation all but one year in the 1980s….including a string of four years from 1984 to 1988….where they earned the number one in the nation ranking. The success translated into fan support….whereby the team was averaging 7,500 fans per home game by the end of the 1980s….including such state and national leaders as future Texas Governor Ann Richards and US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.   

In the 1985 NCAA tournament, the Lady Longhorns lost a heartbreaking game to Western Kentucky 92–90….and watching the game was highly recruited Clarissa Davis….who had not yet decided where to go to school….when she resolved to go to Texas and help them….when in the following year, Texas would win the national championship with the first undefeated women’s season with a record of 34–0….and although Davis wasn’t a starter on the team….she ended up earning the NCAA tournament’s most valuable player award.      

In 38 seasons as a head coach…Jody Conradt compiled a record of 900 wins vs 306 losses….for an incredible .744 winning percentage….as her record of 900 career victories is second only to that of Pat Summitt….her arch rival at the University of Tennessee.  During Conradt’s tenure at UT….her record was 783–245….wherein between January 1978 and January 1990….her Lady Longhorns did not lose one Southwest Conference game….which was a streak of 183 consecutive conference victories….plus from 1986 to 1991, the Lady Longhorns were the women’s basketball attendance leader….including an NCAA record average of 8,481 for one season.   Over her career, Conradt has coached 28 players who went on to play professionall….four US Olympians….three players who earned a combined 13 national player of the year honors….and eight Kodak All-Americans      

Conradt was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998 and into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999….and she is only the second woman inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame….and we at Ima Sportsphile are honored to present this video and tribute to a true Texas legend. 

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