3 takeaways from No. 11 Texas’ 83-43 blowout win over Idaho

Amsal Madhani, Sports Reporter

Early in the fourth quarter, the Longhorns led the Vandals 66-36 en route to a blowout win. Texas’ defense had been terrorizing Idaho throughout the game, and it wasn’t done just yet.

The Vandals tried to find a way to gain some momentum in any way possible and finally found their opportunity off a Longhorn turnover early in the fourth. They burst out into a fastbreak, but senior guard Joanne Allen-Taylor wasn’t going to allow an easy bucket.

She sped down the court and sent the fastbreak layup flying into the stands to prevent the easy two. The crowd at the Frank Erwin Center roared behind the amazing hustle play from Allen-Taylor.

It was that kind of night for No. 11 Texas, where its gritty defense was just too much to overcome for its opponent, forcing 32 turnovers that led to an 83-43 blowout victory.

Following their loss to Tennessee on Nov. 21, the Longhorns have won four straight games, including Saturday afternoon’s dominant win over the Vandals.

Here are three takeaways from Texas’ blowout win over Idaho:

Texas gets Kyndall Hunter back

The Longhorns have been without freshman guard Kyndall Hunter for the past few games, but she made her return Saturday afternoon. She came off the bench and scored 11 points on 4-12 shooting and was scrappy on the defensive end as well, racking up two steals in the win.

Hunter opened up the season with a bang, going 7-8 from the 3-point line, leading to 27 points in her first regular-season collegiate game. From then and before Saturday afternoon, she had only played three more minutes of regular-season basketball.

However, Texas finally managed to get her back against Idaho on Saturday. Hunter’s immediate impact on the team was evident  as she went 2-5 from beyond the arc off the bench. Her presence on the court can open things up for the Longhorns, and she will be counted on to shoot the ball at a high rate moving forward.

Texas continues to dominate defensively 

The Longhorns are known for the fierce full-court press that they run on a nightly basis, and it has been working to perfection. They have been forcing turnovers at a high rate, and are forcing their opponents into inefficient shots. Throughout the last four games, Texas has forced no less than 17 turnovers and has held its opponents to no more than 64 points in each game.

Freshman guard Rori Harmon has led the team’s defense with the impeccable on-ball pressure that she applies to opposing guards each game. No matter what the score is, Harmon has had no issues picking up her man from the inbound pass to the other side of the court. As a result, Harmon racked up two or more steals in two of the team’s last four games and will need to continue that trend to continue Texas’s four-game winning streak.

DeYona Gaston can be a solid contributor for the Longhorns moving forward

Sophomore forward DeYona Gaston has had her name called upon due to some injuries for Texas, and she has not disappointed. Gaston played at least 20 minutes and scored at least eight points in each of the past four games.

Over the current four-game win streak, Gaston has proved that she can continue to be a consistent contributor for the Longhorns despite the team getting some players back from injury.

Dominating the boards in the past few games and finishing well in the paint, Gaston may have found her way to a major role with the team throughout this win streak.