Texas hopes to avoid repeating history against Iowa State

Jasmine C. Johnson

At this time last year, Texas was 13-0 and the third best team in the country behind South Carolina and UConn. But the Longhorns lost at Iowa State 57-59 — the first of nine losses in Big 12 play.

Heading into the ninth week of this season, No. 4 Texas is 13-0 and 2-0 in Big 12 play with Iowa State (10-3, 2-0 Big 12) heading to Austin for a 7 p.m. showdown on Wednesday.

Associate head coach Travis Mays said the players are aware of what this game means.

“I would say it’s hard to make our players not recognize we are in the same situation as we were last year and playing against the particular team that clipped our wings at this particular time last year,” Mays said. “The thing we are going to hang our hat on is that we are more experienced.”

Despite going 0-2 against Iowa State last season, Mays said he doesn’t consider Wednesday’s matchup a revenge game.

“In order for us to get better, we have to go through those particular teams, and Iowa State is one of those teams that understood and was able to take advantage of the way we played,” Mays said. “We’ve just got to get to a level where we are able to execute and get better at stopping them defensively.”

Texas allowed the Cyclones to shoot nearly 39 percent from the field last season. Early in conference play, Texas’ .335 field goal percentage defense ranks third in the Big 12.

Even with those numbers, senior guard Empress Davenport feels like defense is something the team can improve.

“We stop players with what they do best, but when we take a play off and let them score at what they do best, we have to stop those plays,” Davenport said.

Mays said junior guard Seanna Johnson is one Iowa State player they’ll have to stop.

Johnson averages 17 points and 10.6 rebounds a game and leads the Big 12 in double-doubles with 10. Senior center Imani Boyette leads the Longhorns in scoring and rebounding with 12.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

“I think what makes Johnson as tough of a player as she is is because she’s extremely aggressive,” Mays said. “In particular, I would say she’s a player that knows her roles and very seldom does she go away from her strengths.”

Both teams enter Wednesday’s game 2-0 in conference play, which only adds to the game, Mays said.

“Two undefeated teams in the Big 12 — that speaks for itself,” Mays said. "I think neither of us wants to give up that position, so we’re going to play hard.”