Rookie forward played in all six games

Updated: December 7, 2005, 10:37 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas freshman forward Earnesia Williams has been lost for the 2005-06 season after suffering an ACL tear of her right knee, Longhorns coach Jody Conradt announced late Tuesday.

Williams, a 6-foot scholastic All-American and Gatorade State Player of the Year out of Sapulpa (Okla.) High School, suffered the injury during Sunday's 84-70 loss to Duke.

Williams, part of the Longhorns' highly touted rookie class, was making the first start of her career, and was injured on a baseline drive to the basket with 4:47 left in the game. Williams finished with a season-high 12 points to go with three rebounds, one assist and two steals in 14 minutes.

"Earnie Williams was a big part of our plans for this season, and her loss to the team is disappointing and very difficult for all of us," Conradt said. "Right now, she is concentrating on doing some rehabilitation and strengthening prior to her reconstructive surgery, which will be scheduled soon. I know Earnie's will and drive, and she has the commitment and focus to do her very best to get healthy and get back on the court and resume her career next season."

Williams, who wore a brace on her left knee after undergoing arthroscopic surgery in August, played in all six games for the No. 18 Longhorns (3-3). She averaged 5.2 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest, playing 12.8 minutes per game. Williams also had five assists and six steals, and shot 12-for-16 from the foul line.

"Right now, I am determined to do whatever I need to do to get both of my knees completely healthy, in condition, and as strong as they can be," Williams said. "I plan to come back healthy next year and give it another go to help our team the best I can."

Conradt noted that while ACL injuries have a big impact on women's basketball, Texas had been fortunate to avoid the injury since Tai Dillard's ACL tear five years ago.

ALSO SEE