Texas begins Big 12 play on the road

Tyler Horka

The Longhorns travel to Morgantown to face West Virginia in their Big 12 season opener on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT.

Texas fell to the Mountaineers 76-69 in overtime in its last trip to Morgantown. The Longhorns have never beaten West Virginia on its home floor.

Texas (11-0) hits the road coming off a dominant 83-49 victory against Sam Houston State at home. Head coach Karen Aston said that her team still has room to improve.

“I think our team has to start playing better,” Aston said. “I haven’t been critical of this team because I think they have a want to be great, but we aren’t playing at the level that we need to play at as we go into conference play.”

Texas beat three ranked opponents on its way to running the table in nonconference play. It’s the first time in school history that the Longhorns went undefeated in nonconference play in back-to-back seasons.

Last season, Texas ran through all 13 nonconference games and climbed to No. 3 in the nation before going 9-9 against Big 12 foes. The Longhorns have risen to No. 5 after 11 games this year.

Aston says that the team has the versatility to avoid another conference collapse.

“When we aren’t shooting great, our defense has to be able to carry us on certain nights,” Aston said. “I think we are able to do that.”

The Longhorns failed to connect on a 3-pointer for the first time in over eight years against Sam Houston State on Sunday, but they held their opponent to under 50 points for the fourth time this season.

Texas averages 74.6 points per game offensively while holdings opponents to 51.9 points per game. West Virginia (11-2) averages 74.7 points per game.

After battling the Mountaineers, the Longhorns return to Austin on Jan. 2 to continue conference play against Texas Tech.