Top takeaways from Longhorns’ season opener

Travis Hlavinka

The No. 2 Longhorns walked out of the Frank Erwin Center winners for the first time this season after their Sunday afternoon home opener against Stetson University with a score of 95-59. Here are the top three takeaways from the team’s first game.

Higgs’ impressive efficiency

Junior Lashann Higgs took advantage of her opportunities on Sunday. On multiple occasions, the shooting guard had three-point play opportunities and converted, not letting even the toughest foul stop her from getting to the rim. She tallied 14 points in the first half, and added four in the second after getting some time off due to a substantial Texas lead. Overall, she shot 7-9 from the field and 4-5 from the line, and grabbed two rebounds in 18 minutes.

“I don’t really care about the points to be honest with you,” Higgs said. “[It’s] just about playing, trying to help your team be as successful as possible.”

Ariel Atkins’ versatility

It looks as though senior Ariel Atkins is seeing the game at a different speed than most everyone else. Her six assists led the Longhorns on Sunday, while she also recorded nine points and added in four rebounds, four steals and a block. Atkins was often seen streaking across the court, driving into the lane, going for the steal or kicking the ball back out to an open teammate.

“I would like to affect the game, I guess anyway that I can,” Atkins said. “I just try to help my team anyway that I can. And if I’m able to do that than I try to.”

Defense with room to grow

While Texas’ offensive firepower may steal the headlines from Sunday afternoon’s victory, Aston believes if Texas want reach the Final Four come March, it will need to improve its defensive prowess.

“I think we need to get better defensively,” Aston said. “I’m not pleased with the way we played on the defensive end.”

Texas’ defensive struggles were particularly noticeable in the interior, where Stetson sophomore forward Kennedi Colclough recorded 19 points for the Hatters on 8-13 shooting. It looked as if at times she was scoring at will.

“I do think that I will begin to find some people that want to play defense,” Aston said. “Especially when they won’t play if they don’t.”