No. 8 Texas looks to continue hot play in Lubbock

Jasmine C. Johnson

There are losses. And then there are good losses. According to head coach Karen Aston, No. 8 Texas’ 56-74 loss to Oklahoma on Valentine’s Day was the latter. 

“I think we were definitely in the self-check mode,” Aston said. “As bad as the OU loss was in our minds, it may have reset our buttons a little bit.”

Though Aston was reluctant to watch video of the loss, she is pleased with how her team has responded since, particularly their latest 73-50 win against West Virginia.  

“Sunday, for example, was really good because it seemed like they let go of a lot for whatever reason and just decided to play,” Aston said. 

While Aston said her team appeared to be playing loosely against WVU, they still took better care of the ball than they have all season. The nine turnovers Sunday tied a season-low, and Aston said her team noticed the improved number.

“I asked them yesterday what they were most pleased about, and the first thing that came out of their mouths was ‘turnovers,’” Aston said. 

Limiting turnovers might have played a role in the Longhorns impressive win, but senior center Imani Boyette said the team’s high energy was also a determining factor. 

“I think we have been having conversations within the team and us specifically with just having fun and being who we are and not trying to worry about everything,” Boyette said. “Letting the outcome be whatever it is as long as we are having fun and playing hard.” 

Going forward, Aston said she expects her team to continue playing relaxed, using last season’s post-season run as motivation. 

“I think they’re going to be able to reflect, first of all, on last year’s run and remember how fun that was and the opportunity this year to actually have the first two at home,” Aston said. “And maybe do better and go farther than we did last year.” 

Last season, the Longhorns finished a 24-11 season with a Sweet 16 loss to No. 1 seed UConn. With just three regular-season games remaining, the Longhorns have already matched last season’s win total, and have guaranteed at least a second place finish in the Big 12. 

Though Aston said she’s proud of what they’ve accomplished, she’s not content. She is, however, pleased with their effort lately and said she hopes to see that same effort tonight as they face Texas Tech (11–15, 2–13) at 6:30 p.m. 

“I hope that we can continue that and move forward this week with the same type of performance,” Aston said.