Texas earns first win in Morgantown

Jasmine C. Johnson

No. 5 Texas wasted no time getting going Wednesday night in an environment where it hasn’t won in three prior trips.

The Longhorns opened their game against West Virginia on a 10-0 run and never looked back en route to a 65-54 win — their first-ever win in Morgantown.

Sophomore guard Ariel Atkins led all scorers with 18 points off the bench. The Duncanville native shot 6-of-8 from the field, including 2-of-3 from the 3-point line and 4-of-5 from the free throw line in just her third game back from offseason ankle surgery.

Atkins was joined in double digits by fellow sophomore guard Brooke McCarty and senior center Imani Boyette. McCarty finished with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Boyette added 15 points and 14 rebounds.  

Boyette’s double-double sticks out, but head coach Karen Aston said the center made a lot of little plays that won’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet.

“The big girl we brought here was really good,” Aston said. “She made a lot of plays that don’t show up on the paper or statistically, and I thought she was terrific help most of the evening. Probably her best game of the year.”

Texas (12-0) shot 42.6 percent from the field while limiting West Virginia to 30 percent. But the Longhorns had 21 turnovers and shot just 47.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Coming into tonight’s game, Aston said she was anticipating an ugly game.

“Any time the two of us play against each other, it is usually pretty ugly,” Aston said. “So it boils down to the little things — hustle plays, extra possessions, offensive rebounds, and then I think the foul line will be a big factor.”

Though the Longhorns may have underperformed at the free-throw line, Aston said she’ll take the road win whatever way she can get it.

“Any road game in the Big 12 is a big win," Aston said. “I think for our team mentally, it’s a big one.”

Texas returns to Austin to face Texas Tech (9-3) on Jan. 2 at 7 p.m.