Texas suffers gut-check loss at the hands of Oklahoma State

Taylor Hawthorne

In a 25% capacity Gallagher-Iba Arena, head coach Vic Schaefer was heard loud and clear from the bench, the messages indicative of how Texas was performing against Oklahoma State.

Consistency is something the Longhorns have struggled with this season, and tonight they couldn’t carry the momentum from a big win at Iowa State to Stillwater, falling 68-51. Texas couldn't drive into the lane on offense and didn’t generate enough turnovers on defense, disrupting the chemistry that junior guard Joanne Allen-Taylor felt the team had started to develop. 

“We felt like we were kind of on a roll, getting our rhythm back,” Allen-Taylor said. “Tonight was disheartening, definitely.”

The energy level from Texas was noticeably different from the win against Iowa State. The off-ball movement was stagnant, and drives to the basket were minimal. Despite the good looks Schaefer said the team had on offense, the aggressive drive seen in the last two wins was nowhere to be found in tonight’s contest. 

“We’re real passive,” Schaefer said. “We didn’t play with a lot of physical or mental toughness tonight, and when things kind of go down or get away from us, our mental toughness is exposed — or our lack of.” 

Allen-Taylor tried to get Texas back in the game a number of times. Forcing turnovers and capitalizing on fouls, she led the offense with 11 points and four steals while shooting 5-for-6 at the free-throw line. Her tenacity fell short, but Schaefer admires her competitiveness, although it wasn’t contagious.

“Jo (Allen-Taylor), bless her heart, she was trying to tell them, ‘Man, it’s a dog fight, let’s go,’ she said that in the huddle,” Schaefer said. “She’s the only one.” 

Texas went on a run late in the second quarter to reduce the lead from 11 points at 4:08 to three going into halftime, but the momentum didn’t carry over into the third quarter. OSU always seemed to have an answer that Texas couldn’t stop, Allen-Taylor said. 

“We felt good getting out of the half, and we thought we were going to come back with some energy, like we set the tone going into the half,” Allen-Taylor said. “But we came out, and they went on a roll, and we couldn’t get over it.” 

Schaefer wasn’t shocked at how tough OSU played tonight, which made Texas’ lack of competitiveness glaring. In the locker room after the contest, the only word written by Allen-Taylor on the board facing the team was “soft.”

“I think that sums it up in one word. We’re real soft,” Schaefer said. 

Defensive effort is something Schaefer feels they lack an identity in, which was evident on the court tonight. OSU effortlessly sprinted full court without any resistance from Texas. The Cowgirls had 40 points in the paint and 19 fast break points. 

“Tonight we were right back to letting them drive it and playing matador defense, is what we call it,” Schaefer said. “Again, it’s a little bit discerning knowing that we’ve talked about, we worked on it, and we still couldn’t get it fixed. Just gotta keep coaching and teaching.”

Schaefer said the inconsistent product is how this Texas team will continue to perform until someone steps up or until someone looks in the mirror. Until that happens, the Longhorns will keep working toward one goal: toughness.

“No big deal,” Schaefer said. “We’ll keep coaching and teaching and demanding. We’ll fix it, there’s no question.”