Texas women’s basketball handles No. 24 Iowa State 70-59 in road victory

Taylor Hawthorne

The Texas women’s basketball team went into Saturday night’s road contest desperately needing a win over No. 24 Iowa State after losing its last two road games. 

The Longhorns’ cohesive energy created many obstacles for Iowa State in the 70-59 victory and looked unbeatable in every facet. Its recently struggling offense didn’t shy away from the basket and an aggressive defense held the Cyclones to just 39% from the field, limiting the threat posed by Ashley Joens, Iowa State’s star forward.

“The execution that we showed today offensively and then the effort that we played with defensively is the best we’ve played all year by far,”  head coach Vic Shaefer said. “I thought we played like we are capable of playing.”

Texas’ defense held Joens to just four points through the first three quarters, which was a big win against a player averaging 25 points per game. The Longhorns were also able to cause trouble early, forcing 10 turnovers and scoring nine points off the takeaways in the first half.

Texas junior forward Charli Collier’s scoring versatility at nearly every spot on the court Saturday led the Texas offense. Collier had 10 points and six rebounds in the first quarter alone and didn’t take her foot off the gas. Collier finished her dominating performance with 22 points and 19 rebounds.

“She is working her tail off down there,” Shaefer said. “When we were able to get (the ball) to her one-on-one tonight, man she finished.” 

After outscoring Iowa State 20-12 in the first quarter, a lethal 3-point shot from the Cyclones kept the score close going into halftime. Junior guard Joanne Allen-Taylor said Shaefer told the players to maintain the energy they came with into the second half.

“Coach Shaefer said just keep the edge that we started with,” Allen-Taylor said. “We knew what we had to do. We came out really strong, so we just need to come out to the second half as strong as we did the first half.”

The confident shooting and off-ball movement from sophomore guard Celeste Taylor and Allen-Taylor heated up in the third quarter to allow Texas to go on a 12-0 run and take a 15-point lead. The junior guard finished with 16 points on 75% shooting after going scoreless in the first half.

“Jo (Allen-Taylor) made big shots. I mean big shots,” Shaefer said. 

Shaefer said he thought the effort that had been lacking over the past couple of games was present in tonight’s win. 

“They showed competitive toughness today and their competitive spirit was not going to be denied,” Shaefer said. “They were focused every possession and they didn’t waiver from that. This is the first time that’s happened.”

Texas escaped Ames with a huge win, but Collier said she’s eager to get back to work to prove this team can continue to win big.

“We had a great game, but can you stack them? Can you stack games? Can you stack practices?” Collier said. “So it’s all about keeping us prepared, not taking days off. We just have to take this win and bring it to the next game.”