No. 3 Women’s basketball opens season with win over Louisiana

Emma Hutchinson, Senior Sports Reporter

Getting comfortable with the new environment of the Moody Center, the Texas women’s basketball team emerged from two triple-digit exhibition games ready to hit the ground running on its regular season schedule.  

The Longhorns debuted a dominant energy against Louisiana on Friday night, coming off the court with a 68-45 victory over the Ragin’ Cajuns.  

Despite the absence of sophomore guard Rori Harmon, who has been temporarily removed from the starting lineup due to a leg injury, Texas adapted accordingly and gave her a performance to be proud of.     

Graduate transfer Sonya Morris had a commanding presence both offensively and defensively, providing aggression against a passive Louisiana offense. Morris proved her deserving spot in the starting lineup, dishing out two assists and acquiring six rebounds to facilitate Texas’ lead from the beginning.   

On the offensive side of the court, Texas saw impressive execution from junior guard Shay Holle and junior forward Taylor Jones. Holle remained on the court for 40 minutes and never wasted a second, accumulating 10 points and recording five steals to keep the Longhorns afloat. 

Eager to get back on the court after missing her last 21 games at Oregon State last year due to injury, Jones led the team by putting up 21 points across four quarters. Additionally, Jones provided security through her free-throws and ability to find pathways for consistent layups, making two-thirds of her shots on the night.             

“We knew going into the game that our game plan was to go inside whether it was with layups or with the post with all of us,” Jones said. “Because they were undersized, I was able to get a good position.” 

Texas continued to play a fast-paced, energetic game, although the final score says otherwise. Both teams seemed to struggle with 3-pointers and relied on layups and free throws to provide scoring. 

“Mentally and physically, we just weren’t very tough tonight,” head coach Vic Schaefer said. “We’re not very disciplined right now, and I didn’t do a very good job of having them ready, and that’s on me.”  

Fouls also quickly became an enemy for the Longhorns throughout the night, recording 27 total personal fouls and giving the Ragin’ Cajuns a majority of their points from free-throw opportunities.   

“Just about everybody on my bench was in foul trouble,” Schaefer said. “Sonya gets hurt, we start the third quarter, we’re already down two guards. I mean, we were really short-handed, and there’s not a lot of options over there in certain spots.”    

Yet the foul trouble wasn’t enough to silence the chorus of Texas fans who made the trip out to the arena for opening night.  

“I appreciate our fans tonight and the atmosphere they created,” Schaefer said. “It was a really special night for our kids.” 

The Longhorns will look to continue a successful start to their season as they travel to Storrs, Connecticut on Monday for their first away game against the No. 6 UConn Huskies. 

“I feel confident in my team,” Schaefer said. “I feel like we’ll go up there and do much different than we did tonight.”