No. 6 Texas drops regular season finale in Waco

Jasmine C. Johnson

Midway through the first quarter, Baylor junior guard Alexis Jones picked up her second foul. Three seconds later, sophomore guard Brooke McCarty scored a layup to give No. 6 Texas a 6-5 lead, its first lead of the game.

Instead of building on that lead with Jones sitting on the bench, Texas went ice cold in the second quarter.

The drought happened right after sophomore Ariel Atkins made a jumper to give Texas 19 points. From that point on, the Longhorns closed the half on 1-of-13 shooting, totaling seven points for the quarter. And just when it couldn’t get any worse, Jones checked in for the last play and knocked down a buzzer-beater three to give No. 4 Baylor a 30-20 lead.

Texas followed the seven-point second quarter with a 10-point third quarter. What was once a 10-point deficit quickly blossomed into a 30-point deficit, en route to a 74-48 Baylor victory in Waco.

McCarty led the Longhorns’ struggling offense with 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting. Senior center Imani Boyette added eight points and eight rebounds. Texas (26–3, 15–3 Big 12) shot 29 percent from the field, including 1-of-9 from beyond the arc. McCarty knocked down the team’s only three of the night at the 3:58 mark in the fourth quarter.

Baylor (30–1, 17–1 Big 12), on the other hand, was clicking on all cylinders. They shot 52.8 percent from the field and were led by sophomore guard Kristy Wallace’s 23 points off the bench. Wallace shot 8-of-13 from the field, including 3-of-5 from the three-point line. Wallace alone outscored Texas’ bench 23-15.

Junior forward Nina Davis added 16 points and six rebounds, while senior guard Niya Johnson tallied 10 points and 12 assists.

While Texas never got it going offensively, it finished with 10 steals and four blocks. But head coach Karen Aston said they weren’t able capitalize on fast break opportunities.

“We need to slow down a bit and concentrate on finishing,” Aston said to Fox Sports 1 at halftime. “It looks like we’re shooting to get fouled instead of shooting to finish.”

Baylor’s size might have affected Texas’ ability to finish. Baylor’s bigs were a factor all night, despite Aston starting Boyette and junior center Kelsey Lang to give Texas more size. Baylor finished with 10 blocks and altered many other shots in the paint.

With the regular season-finale loss, Texas has dropped 13-straight games against Baylor dating back to 2011. A Longhorn win would’ve put Texas in a tie with Baylor for first place of the Big 12.

The Longhorns will look to regroup for the 2016 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship in Oklahoma City beginning Saturday night.