Texas defeats Oklahoma 69-58 in a showdown in Norman

Taylor Hawthorne

The relentless Texas women’s basketball defense propelled the Longhorns to a 69-58 victory over rival Oklahoma Wednesday night, a much-needed road victory.

The Longhorns’ previous road trouble reared its head in the second quarter. However, Texas exerted a huge advantage over Oklahoma on the glass, grabbing 42 rebounds compared to just 19 from the Sooners. An emphasis on restricting the three-point shot allowed Texas to escape Norman with a win despite a tough offensive night.

Junior forward Audrey Warren, who suited up for the first time in three games after working through concussion protocols, said the Longhorns understood what this contest meant.

“The rival is big, so we knew it was a big game,” Warren said. “It was an away game so all of those are pretty big. You always want to win on the road, and I thought we focused really well on it.”

Last Saturday against Texas Tech, Texas rode a dominant second quarter to a victory. Against Oklahoma, the second quarter threatened to jeopardize a comfortable lead. 

Texas shot 73% from the field in the first quarter, compared to just 35% in the second quarter. Stretches of missed shots paired with four straight possessions with a turnover allowed Oklahoma to shoot its way back into the game, head coach Vic Schaefer said.

“We scored 26 points in the first quarter and really played well,” Schaefer said. “Then, we decided we were going to throw the ball to the other team the next two quarters.”  

Oklahoma’s three-point attack was lethal, but coming out of halftime, the Texas defense eliminated its three-point shot opportunities. The Sooners shot a combined 2-for-10 from the three and committed ten turnovers in the second half, preventing them from cutting into the lead.

“Hopefully, my team sees if we can defend, it’ll give us a chance every night even if we’re not that good on offense, we can still find a way,” Schaefer said. 

Warren didn’t show any rust Wednesday night. The junior made big plays for Texas on both sides of the ball, going 5-for-9 from the field and grabbing five rebounds. 

“Audrey adds a defensive force. She’s dominant, relentless and just a tough player that we need,” junior center Charli Collier said. “She made key strides at crunch time. We all just feed off of her energy the way that she plays offensively and defensively.”

As a whole, the Texas offense suffered from frequent dry spells from the field that lasted multiple possessions. That is, except for Collier. On an 8-0 first quarter run, six of those points were made by Collier, and she continued to provide a spark for the rest of the game. The offensive savant finished the contest with another 30-point night alongside 15 rebounds.

Even though Collier accounted for just under half of the team’s total points, she said she was just playing her role on the team.

“Everybody knows their role, and my role on this team is to score,” Collier said. “I have to be like that every single game for us to be successful, so I’m just doing my job. I’m getting a lot of rebounds and doing what I’m supposed to do.”

The competitive energy Schaefer mentioned this team only catches glimpses of is starting to materialize into a consistent chemistry, which shone through the team’s defensive effort tonight. 

“We did some things defensively we haven’t done all year, and they took it to the floor and did a pretty decent job,” Schaefer said. “Really proud of our group and their competitive spirit.”