Texas’ lockdown defense leads to blowout win over No. 7 Iowa State

Amsal Madhani, Senior Sports Reporter

Following a blowout win against West Virginia on Jan. 15, No. 15 Texas kept it rolling with an emphatic 66-48 victory over No. 7 Iowa State on Wednesday night. 

The Longhorns’ defense was on display at Hilton Coliseum as they posted seven blocks and nine steals. The team held the high-powered Cyclones offense to just 48 points behind Texas’ strong paint defense. 

Sophomore forward DeYona Gaston led the way for Texas on defense, recording five of the team’s seven blocks along with three steals. Gaston was a problem for Iowa State all night as she constantly forced the team to take tough shots and didn’t allow easy buckets at the rim. 

Not only was Gaston productive on the defensive end, she also led the way for the Longhorns on the offensive end with a team-high 14 points on 6-of–9 shooting. Gaston’s all-around great game centered on her paint presence being too much for the Cyclones to handle.

Along with Gaston, freshman guard Rori Harmon also had a great game defensively. Harmon recorded four steals and continued to apply pressure to Iowa State’s guards in the full-court. 

Harmon and Gaston accounted for seven of Texas’ nine steals, forcing the Cardinals into bad miscues on the offensive end all night. 

Despite the Longhorns’ defensive efforts, their offense struggled in terms of efficiency. They shot 25-of-57 from the field, including just 6-of-23 from the 3-point line. Junior guard Aliyah Matharu just couldn’t find her shot against Iowa State, scoring eight points while shooting 2-of-10 from deep. 

Although the team struggled to shoot the ball, Texas still managed to score 66 points behind consistent free-throw shooting and 15 points off Iowa State turnovers. The Longhorns made 10-of-12 from the line.

It was an impressive win Wednesday night on the road for the short-handed Longhorns as players remain out due to injuries and COVID protocols. Senior center Lauren Ebo missed tonight’s contest, but the team did get back freshman forward Latasha Lattimore, who only played two minutes in the Longhorns’ win against West Virginia. 

Lattimore showed why she gets so much praise from coach Schaefer as she made an impact right away with her strong rim protection and athletic finishing skills in the painted area. She ended the night with six points on 2-of-3 shooting and posted two blocks as she denied opposing players at the rim. 

As the Longhorns continue to get healthier down the stretch of the season, they may be tough to beat just based on how strong their defense could be when everyone is on the floor together communicating. 

Texas will look to continue its recent success on Saturday at TCU in a vital conference matchup.