By JON KRAWCZYNSKI, Associated Press Writer
November 16, 2003

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Texas coach Jody Conradt had a simple plan for containing Duke All-American Alana Beard.

``You can't shut her down, you can't even slow her down a lot of the times, but you can force her to take harder shots, which is what we were trying to do,'' Conradt said.

The third-ranked Longhorns succeeded where most teams have failed. Beard was 4-for-17 from the floor and scored just 12 points in No. 2 Duke's 85-77 loss Sunday to Texas as the teams opened the season in the Women's Tip-Off Classic.

``I had a bad game. I had a horrible game,'' Beard said.

Nina Norman and Tiffany Jackson scored 15 points a piece to lead the Longhorns, who led early before Duke mounted a second-half comeback.

Heather Schreiber added 15 for the Longhorns, but fouled out with 8:35 to play. Jackson also had eight rebounds while Norman chipped in six rebounds and four assists.

In a game plagued by fouls and turnovers, Iciss Tillis led Duke with 18 points and 12 rebounds, but fouled out with 1:35 to play.

``They played a really gritty game,'' Duke coach Gail Goestenkors said. ``It was not a pretty game by any means.''

It was a matchup of two of last season's Final Four teams. Duke lost to Tennessee and Texas fell to eventual champion Connecticut.

The Longhorns dominated the first half, forcing 13 turnovers and taking a 46-39 lead, but the Blue Devils stormed back in the second.

Tillis hit a short jumper to cap a 10-1 run in the first three minutes that gave Duke its first lead at 49-47. That started a back-and-forth 15 minutes that featured 10 lead changes.

``We just picked up our intensity and started taking care of the ball,'' Goestenkors said.

The Blue Devils took a 69-68 lead when Jessica Foley scored on a driving layup with just over four minutes to play, but that would be their last lead.

``We had a couple of breakdowns on defense, but we didn't panic,'' the Longhorns' Stacy Stephens said. ``That's a huge difference from perhaps what we did today as opposed to how we started last year, and I think you can attribute some of that to experience.''

The Longhorns closed the game with a 15-5 run -- including 11-for-12 from the line-- to seal the game.

Monique Currie made three free throws to cap the scoring.

Both teams were guilty of sloppy play and missed shots throughout. Duke turned the ball over 24 times, while Texas had 19 turnovers.

Curry had 16 points and eight rebounds and Brittany Hunter scored 16 for Duke.

Jamie Carey scored 14, including two 3-pointers in the second half, for Texas.

``Jamie really just calmed everybody down and said that it was all right, just to come back and play harder and we did,'' Norman said.

The Longhorns jumped took 7-0. Taking advantage of early Duke foul trouble, Texas shot 10-of-14 from the free throw line and led by as many as 13 in the first half after Norman hit a 3-pointer with 2:52 to go.

``I was very disappointed with our effort and our decision-making,'' Goestenkors said. ``It's a tough way to start the year.''

For the game, Texas made 27 of 36 foul shots (75 percent), while Duke made 18 of 31 free throws (58 percent).