A dominant defense and a deep bench: Takeaways from women’s basketball’s victory over Kansas State

Amsal Madhani, Senior Sports Reporter

Following a victory at the WVU Coliseum against West Virginia on Sunday, Texas hit the road once again to face another conference rival at Kansas State.

Tied for fourth in the Big 12 conference with Oklahoma, the Longhorns looked to win another big game to increase their seeding in a pivotal matchup against the Wildcats as they reach closer to the ending point of the regular season. 

Texas did just that as it came into Bramlage Coliseum and took care of business Wednesday night, defeating Kansas State 62-51. 

Led by some gritty defense and a flurry of points coming from the bench, the Longhorns looked like they were starting to get ready for postseason basketball. Here are two big takeaways from Texas’ win over Kansas State: 

 

The Longhorns continue to be vicious on the defensive end. 

Texas might not be the best offensive team in the Big 12, but the Longhorns certainly make up for it with their defensive efforts night in and night out. First in points allowed (No. 35 in NCAA) and turnovers forced (No. 11 in NCAA) per game in the Big 12, the numbers speak for themselves. 

The Longhorns are causing problems for opposing teams’ offenses on a nightly basis, and that was on display against the Wildcats on Wednesday. They held Kansas State to just 51 points on 35.7 percent shooting and forced 15 turnovers that led to 16 points on the other end. 

Despite shooting just around 36 percent from the field, Texas managed to pull out a double-digit victory solely due to its fierce defensive energy. With players such as freshman guard Rori Harmon and senior forward Audrey Warren, who take on opposing teams’ top players every night, the Longhorns can rely on their defense to win games. 

 

Texas rolls deep into its rotation for production. 

Throughout the entirety of the season, all eyes have been on Harmon, one of the major recruits for the Longhorns this past offseason. However, this team has shown that it has many talented players on the squad who can help them win games. 

Although head coach Vic Schaefer turns to his starters for most of the offensive production, multiple players have stepped up off the bench to help put up some points when the starters aren’t producing. That was on display against the Wildcats as Texas received 24 points off the bench in the win. 

One of those key bench contributors was Aliyah Matharu who came in and led the entire team in scoring with 16 points. The junior guard has been one of the better scorers on the Longhorns all season long, leading the team in points per game at 13.5. 

Along with Matharu, Warren has also been a consistent performer off the bench for the team. Averaging right around nine points a game, Warren continued to bring offensive production since her transition to the bench over the past few weeks.

Although she didn’t have the most efficient game against the Wildcats, defenses are forced to focus on Warren a lot more due to her recent scoring outbursts with double-digit points scored in four of her last five games.

Texas is looking to get postseason ready before the end of conference play, and grind-it-out games such as Wednesday’s are the exact games the Longhorns need to win before getting there. 

Texas will now focus on Saturday as it looks to extend its five-game win streak against TCU at home.