Longhorns go into break with hopes of continuing momentum

Garrett Callahan

For the first time in four years, the Longhorns have started 5-0. With this new feat comes momentum.

Texas goes into its winter schedule with one thing in mind — focus. The team is young and there’s a lot to improve on, which is often hard with an inexperienced team. However, as her season progresses, head coach Karen Aston will work to strive for the best.

The Longhorns will face big-time opponent UCLA this Saturday in the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Showcase in Houston. The game, which will be played in Reliant Stadium, is the one of the most anticipated of this season. The last time these two teams faced off, in 2004,Texas lost a heart breaker, 63-60. As the Longhorns face off against the No. 19 Bruins, they will be looking for their sixth straight win.

Through these past five games, the team has learned to come together and the players have gotten more comfortable with each other. Junior Ashley Roberts thinks her guards are starting to mesh as a team and work off each other’s skills.

“I think we are getting more comfortable with each other,” Roberts said. “We’re moving the ball a lot more and that’s why we’re getting more assists each game.”

With this newfound comfort comes more discipline and focus. That is one part of the game Aston is trying to push, especially with the long season ahead of them. However, many players are stepping up to their roles on the team.

“It’s very hard to keep the team as focused because we a have a lot of young players and they lose their focus quite often,” Aston said. “I’m really proud of Ashley from that standpoint because I can see she is starting to get more comfortable in our system and her maturity is going to help us down the stretch.”

The Longhorns have 10 games between now and Jan. 14 when classes resume at UT. Those games include notable opponents, such as Tennessee and Iowa, along with the start of
conference play.

Texas will face Iowa State for its first Big 12 game on Jan. 2 in Ames, Iowa. After a disappointing 8-10 conference schedule last season, the Longhorns look to dramatically improve. For the past two years, the team has had a losing record in its conference as it faced some of the best teams in the country. This year the Longhorns attempt to get back on the winning path with a sense of urgency.

Coming out of the starting tip off fast and strong is a vital key for the Longhorns as they go into their winter part of the season. They have lead all of their games this season after the first half and held their opponents to limited numbers. Keeping this strong lead will help them seal hard victories over the course of the year.

“I’ve been continually impressed with how our team has started games,” Aston said. “I really love teams that are ready to play when the tip happens and I’m a big believer in setting a tone in the first four or five minutes of a game. I’m impressed with how we’ve done that.”