Texas maintains perfect record with win at Kansas, improves to 16-0

Jasmine C. Johnson

No. 4 Texas opened its game at Kansas with a foul, a turnover and a missed layup before sophomore guard Brooke McCarty hit a three-pointer in the first minute.

Texas (16-0, 5-0 Big 12) scored 14 more points unanswered and held a 28-7 led at the end of the first quarter, en route to a 75-38 win over the Jayhawks. Head coach Karen Aston said she was pleased with her team’s quick start.

“I thought our team got off to a fast start, a really good start, once again,” Aston said. “I thought we were ready to play, and then we got bogged down a little bit.”

Despite shooting just over 62 percent in the first quarter, Texas missed its first eight shots of the second quarter before freshman guard Lashann Higgs broke the streak with a layup.

The Longhorns took a 38-19 lead into halftime and then went on to outscore the Jayhawks 22-9 in the third quarter. Aston said she was happy with the way her team responded after the break.

“We regrouped at halftime and got our big girl [Imani Boyette] involved a little bit, and we got on the boards a little better,” Aston said.

Senior center Imani Boyette led all scorers with 15 points — 13 of which came in the third quarter — and eight rebounds. Senior guard Empress Davenport added 11 points and 10 rebounds, her first career double-double.

Davenport said her and Boyette’s experience has led to their improved leadership this season.

“I think our leadership is huge because Imani and I came in with Coach Karen, so we know what she expects in this system,” Davenport said. “We know the level of intensity we have to bring going into practices and our games, so I think we rub off on the younger players to a degree.”

Texas shot 42.4 percent from the field, while out-rebounding the Jayhawks (5-11, 0-5 Big 12) 46 to 26. Texas also had 15 assists, 13 steals, five blocks and 33 bench points. Eleven players scored for Texas, which Aston said could be a big weapon.

“We’ve done a really good job of not running into many foul problems, but if we do, I think that we have a chance to counter that with our depth,” Aston said. “We can also keep the tempo raised, which I think is a good thing, and I think our depth is improving because our young players are getting better.”

Texas returns to Austin to face No. 6 Baylor (17-1, 4-1 Big 12) on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Boyette said the rematch of last year’s Big 12 Championship game is a just another matchup.

“Baylor is a great team, and they always give us a good game,” Boyette said. “As long as we focus on what we need to, play great defense because they are a great offensive team, we will be fine.”