Texas has been able to overcome slow starts throughout the season, but Wednesday night’s drought against Iowa State lasted far too long for the Longhorns to prevent the 69-51 loss to Iowa State.
“We played a really good first couple minutes of the game, and then … they went on a run and we couldn’t answer it,” senior guard Sug Sutton said. “I don’t know, it was a poor performance all around, so there’s not a lot of things to say about what happened tonight.”
Texas and Iowa State came into the Frank Erwin Center at No. 3 and No. 4 in the Big 12 standings, respectively. After Texas took down the Cyclones in Ames, Iowa last month, the Longhorns were looking at the perfect opportunity to secure a season sweep that could have big implications when the Big 12 Tournament arrives.
But the Cyclones’ season scoring leader sophomore guard Ashley Joens came straight out of the gate on fire, with seven points in the first five minutes of the game. The Longhorns didn’t help matters by shooting 8-for-32 from the field in the first half.
“Just a really, really disappointing performance,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said. “The big struggle tonight was that we couldn’t control anything on the defensive end, which typically we are able to sustain … even when things are not going great on the offensive end. … Our offense struggled tonight.”
The home crowd had some life going into the half, thanks to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by sophomore center Charli Collier that gave the Longhorns a manageable 30-21 deficit. But that life quickly faded as Texas opened the second half 0-for-10 from the field.
“It was just one of those nights. Shots weren’t falling,” Collier said. “Shot selection (wasn’t) the best. … I mean, (in Ames) we played great … so it was just one of those games.”
Poor shooting performance kept the Longhorns from overcoming a slow first quarter with an otherwise strong performance. Against Texas Tech, Aston’s team overcame a three-point deficit at the end of the first quarter to win by 15. Though the Cyclones sit four spots above the Lady Raiders, Texas still had the potential to rally.
But at the post-game press conference, Aston had no answers for why the Longhorns came up short.
“I didn’t think that they looked at halftime like a team that was determined,” Aston said. “I mean, if I had an answer I would’ve fixed it. If I had an excuse, I would give you one. But there’s not one.”
With the loss, Texas now moves to 15–8 on the year. With three games over the next 10 days, the Longhorns have no time to dwell on Wednesday’s disappointing defeat.
“You don’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for yourself at all,” Aston said. “We have one day to get ready for Kansas on their home court, and then we have one day before we have to turn around and play West Virginia. … We don’t have time for that.”