4 takeaways from Texas women’s basketball exhibition win: Freshmen Harmon, Lattimore show they can contribute immediately

Amsal Madhani, Sports Reporter

Texas women’s basketball kicked off its season on the right note with a 77-44 win over Oklahoma Baptist University on Thursday night at Gregory Gymnasium.

Although the win may not count toward the Longhorns’ record, head coach Vic Schaefer finally saw a glimpse into what his new squad can do in-game. Here are a few takeaways from Thursday night’s exhibition game.

Texas has found a great player in Rori Harmon

Freshman guard Rori Harmon had a solid game in her first official outing with the Longhorns. Harmon ended the night with eight points on 4-6 shooting, along with four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Although she didn’t light up the scoreboard or have a great statistical game, Harmon pushed the ball down the floor on every possession and facilitated the offense at a high level.

She showed that she’s capable of being a key piece in the offense. She brought great energy to the team and will need to continue to do so in order to find a major role in the offense.

The Longhorns’ defense is legit

Coach Schaefer had the team run a full-court press for the entirety of the game, and it caused a lot of problems for the Bison’s offense. The team forced a whopping 35 turnovers and held Oklahoma Baptist to 26.1% shooting from the field. Even when the offense was stagnant, Texas found a way to maintain its lead through constant pressure in the full-court press, not allowing Oklahoma Baptist to get into a rhythm on the offensive end.

Coach Schaefer mentioned in the post-game press conference that this type of high-pressure defense is what teams can expect to see from the Longhorns throughout the regular season.

The paint is Texas’ best friend 

The Longhorns attacked the basket at will against the Bisons Thursday night, scoring 52 of their 77 points in the painted area. Senior forward Audrey Warren was a consistent presence around the rim, making all six of her field goals either at or near the paint. She also got to the line a good amount due to her constant attack in the key, leading the team in free throws attempted and made, going 4-4 from the line.

Texas boasts several players who can get to the basket in many different ways, and coach Schaefer is taking advantage of that. With the combination of Harmon, Warren and freshman forward Aaliyah Moore who can all finish at ease around the rim, Schaefer may just have his team continue to attack the paint at a high rate with the efficiency they’re scoring with.

Latasha Lattimore can be a great contributor immediately 

Freshman forward Latasha Lattimore’s performance was a great sight for Schaefer. She scored 10 points and was a very efficient 5-10 from the field. Lattimore showed no hesitation in her shot, leading to her being the third-leading scorer on the team Thursday night.

As great as she was on the offensive end, she was even better defensively. Lattimore only recorded one block and one steal, but she was a constant problem for players driving into the paint with her tall 6-foot-4-inch frame.

Lattimore may have already found a spot in the rotation with her performance Thursday night and has a good chance to lead this team in field-goal percentage if she continues to score at will in the painted area.