Longhorns bounce back against Texas Tech with 90-39 win

Justin Martinez

Make no mistake — Texas is just fine.

The No. 9 Longhorns entered Saturday’s road game against Texas Tech as losers of two of their last three games, pushing them to the edge of the nation’s top 10 for the first time all season. 

But with questions looming over the team, Texas delivered an all-caps response, dismantling the Red Raiders in a 90-39 victory.

The Longhorns made a commitment to winning through their defense in the opening quarter, employing a full-court press that resulted in eight forced turnovers.

Senior guard Ariel Atkins, meanwhile, did it all on the offensive end in the first quarter, lighting up Texas Tech for eight points on 4-5 shooting and crashing the glass for two offensive boards. The Red Raiders managed to keep it close, ending the quarter with a pair of buckets to only trail 19-13.

After feeling out Texas Tech, the Longhorns began landing haymakers in the second quarter.

The first one came in the form of a 7-0 run to start the quarter that left the Red Raiders reeling. The second was a dizzying 14-3 burst to go up 40-16 with 2:51 left in the half.

Senior guard Brooke McCarty led the ambush, finishing the half with 12 points and six assists as Texas headed into the locker room with a commanding 44-19 lead.

The Longhorns didn’t lose focus in the second half, keeping Texas Tech scoreless for the first four minutes and 25 seconds.

Junior guard Lashann Higgs found her touch as well, outscoring the Red Raiders in the third quarter on her own, 11-10. Texas also took advantage from the charity stripe, going 11-of-15 from the free throw line during the quarter to take a 73-29 lead into the final 10 minutes of regulation, where the Longhorns put the game on ice.

Atkins shined in the blowout with a game-high 22 points to go along with seven rebounds. Higgs kept pace, posting 19 points and five rebounds. Texas forced the Red Raiders into a whopping 29 turnovers on the day.

The Longhorns (15–3, 6–1 Big 12) took away the Red Raiders’ identity, out-rebounding a Texas Tech team that prides itself on winning the battle on the boards, 31-18. Texas Tech’s 39 points also marked the second-lowest total allowed by the Longhorns this season. Texas defeated McNeese State, 100-34, on Nov. 15.

Texas will need to maintain that level of defensive intensity when it heads to Waco on Thursday for a showdown against No. 4 Baylor at 6 p.m.