Longhorns welcome UTRGV, 40 Acres field trip guests in early matchup

Myah Taylor

Following Texas’ blowout loss to Arizona on Sunday, the Longhorns left the Frank Erwin Center in a state of confusion about what went wrong and how they could fix their issues moving forward.

Not even 24 hours after the matchup, a diagnosis of some problems came Monday morning when the Longhorns returned to the gym for practice. The team’s practice schedule this season worked to its benefit following the shocking defeat, allowing for an opportunity to right the wrongs from the game.

“Any time you have a disappointing loss, for coaches, the quicker that you can get back on the court or in the film room — I think it’s always better than to mull and stew about it for a while,” head coach Karen Aston said. “We’ve had an unusual semester where we practice in the morning on Monday, Wednesday, Friday due to some class schedules, so we had practice (Monday) morning, and I think that was the best thing that probably could’ve happened after a disappointing loss.”

Senior forward Joyner Holmes said Sunday that she thinks some of the Longhorns’ setbacks are based on the fact that many groupings haven’t played together before, and Aston said the team has maturity issues.

Aston thinks the Longhorns will respond in their next game against UT-Rio Grande Valley. Wednesday’s contest will be different than most, however, as it’s slated for an 11 a.m. tipoff and will welcome 4th-7th graders from around Central Texas to the Frank Erwin Center for the annual 40 Acres field trip. The event, which Aston described as an “energizer,” should act as a pick-me-up for Texas.

“It’s always a lot of fun to have those young ones here, and it’s a raucous building, one that I think our players enjoy,” Aston said. “It’s my most favorite day of the year as far as crowd involvement and then just the joy of seeing those young guys in the arena and knowing that they’re getting a glimpse of the University of Texas — not just basketball — but our university in general.”

But despite the festivities, Aston predicts the game against UTRGV, as well as the following game against Southern, will be challenging. When the Longhorns played UTRGV in The Valley last season, they competed in front of a sold-out crowd. The Vaqueros pushed Texas hard, but their efforts ultimately weren’t enough as they lost 81-66.

Like Arizona, this year’s UTRGV team shoots the ball well. Although the Vaqueros are undersized, they are known for putting up a great fight.

“They will really attack you, try to penetrate, kick,” Aston said. “And we didn’t guard that very well last year.”

The Longhorns will try to answer the questions surrounding their play when they match up against UTRGV at 11 a.m. Wednesday.