Runaway second quarter propels Texas over Texas Tech 72-53

Taylor Hawthorne

Despite an empty Frank Erwin Center, Texas women’s basketball still makes it hard for opponents to win at home — the Longhorns are now 10-1 in Austin with Saturday’s 72-53 victory over Texas Tech.

After losing their first meeting with the Red Raiders in Lubbock on Jan. 17 and after Wednesday’s loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, the Longhorns responded in a big way on their home court. 

A slow first quarter quickly turned into a runaway contest late in the second quarter for the Longhorns, who headed into halftime with a 20-point lead.

“I’m really proud of my team. I thought we played really hard that second quarter, that was special,” head coach Vic Schaefer said. “That is what I envision for our program for 40 minutes.”

Texas didn’t just look unbeatable but was undeniably unstoppable in the second quarter. A 19-0 run and seven forced turnovers allowed Texas to outscore Texas Tech 27-8 in the quarter. Holding Texas Tech’s top two leading scorers, senior guards Vivian Gray and Lexi Gordan, to just two points in the first half didn’t hurt either. 

“It was really good having all five players play really good defense because that fed into our offense,” junior forward Charli Collier said. “That second quarter really set the tone.”

Collier continued to prove why she is one of the best players in the country, racking up 17 points and 14 rebounds in the first half. The nation’s leading player in double-doubles added one more Saturday and finished the night with 30 points and 19 rebounds.

“Charli (Collier) had 30 and 19 — those are numbers you do not see often. She’s a pro’s pro,” point guard Kyra Lambert said. “Every aspect of what she does, she does at a pro level. When she has nights like this, I would like to say that I’m surprised, but I’m not. That’s just what Charli does.”

Lambert accounted for all of the Longhorn’s 3-point shots, finishing 50% from the 3-point line, a big reason for the hefty lead at halftime. Not only did she make the big shots, Lambert also dominated every part of the floor, Schaefer said.

“(Lambert) had six rebounds, five assists and no turnovers. That’s the way to run your team,” Schaefer said. “(She) was three out of six from 3-point range. She played outstanding for us.”

Coming out of halftime, Texas Tech threatened a rally with a 6-0 run to keep the score manageable, but Texas tapped into the second quarter energy to hold a 22-point lead at the end of the third quarter. The score margin didn’t get much closer after that. 

Texas will go back on the road after tonight’s home win with the last two road losses in the back of its mind. However, the way the team dominated tonight will be in the forefront of the Longhorns’ minds as they face Oklahoma on Feb. 3 in Norman.

Schaefer said his squad’s age and experience won’t change overnight. 

“We can’t have an off night from anybody because everybody has a role to play. In this league if someone doesn’t play well defensively, they’re going to find you and they’re going to burn you,” Schaefer said. “But we’re just going to keep challenging them to be the best they can be.”