Longhorns to face OU, ready for blood

Jori Epstein

It never feels great, but sometimes a team needs a taste of blood to find motivation. 

“They just came out hungrier,” junior forward Nneka Enemkpali said after Sunday’s 72-56 loss to Baylor. “Coach ended up calling a timeout and told us that they taste blood and are going for it.”

Although Texas (17-8, 8-5 Big 12) allowed Baylor’s frantic offense to scatter its discipline Sunday, the team hasn’t shown such complacency throughout conference play. Texas boasts five wins in its last seven games, only dropping two games to No. 7 Baylor (21-3, 11-1 Big 12). The matchups against Baylor were far from close, but Texas has shown promise with wins against Iowa State and West Virginia.

The Longhorns showed the same dedication and drive against Oklahoma (15-11, 6-7 Big 12) in a Jan. 8 79-74 overtime win. Senior forward Gigi Mazionyte hit a 3-pointer to send the Red River rivals into overtime.

“It was a matter of will and our team digging deep, believing in each other and making plays down the stretch,” head coach Karen Aston said. “It was a team win, no question about it. And I want it to be a building block for us.”

The Longhorns used their crimson and cream building block to secure six wins after the Oklahoma matchup. Statistically, Texas holds the advantage Wednesday. Oklahoma is on a two-game losing streak and is two games behind Texas in the Big 12 after falling to Oklahoma State by double digits. But Texas has also let blocks crumble its road game.

The road has been tough for Texas this season with five away-game losses but, if Texas gets hungry and tastes the blood it didn’t get on Sunday, the Sooners will have a difficult matchup.