Texas bounces back with dominant 72-59 win over No. 23 Kansas

Lindsey Plotkin, Sports Reporter

Texas found its way back into the win column with a dominant 72-59 win over No. 23 Kansas Tuesday night. With the win, Texas advances to 12–5 and 3–1 in the Big 12.

Graduate student guard Shaylee Gonzales led the Longhorns in scoring with her season-high of 26 points.

From the initial whistle, Texas took the lead and never looked back, building its biggest lead to 15 in the fourth quarter. Graduate student guard Sonya Morris led scoring for the Longhorns early with nine first quarter points, but only saw 14 minutes of total playing time because of foul trouble.

Morris got the scoring started early, but Gonzales found her rhythm and could not be stopped. Gonzales made four of six attempted 3-pointers, crediting her teammates for her success and 14 points in the fourth quarter.

“(My teammates) were setting good screens,” Gonzales said. “(Rori Harmon) kept hitting me and I was feeling it.”

After the loss at Oklahoma State on Saturday, where Texas gave up 86 points, Texas shifted its practices to focus on defense, a tactic that paid off against Kansas. The Longhorns held the Jayhawks to a mere 59 points and forced 21 turnovers.

“Kansas is a good, veteran team,” head coach Vic Schaefer said. “We’ve been going through (their offense) for two days and I just couldn’t be more proud of these kids.”

While Kansas held sophomore guard Rori Harmon scoreless until the final two minutes of the first half, she made her presence known early in other ways. In the first quarter, Harmon collected a steal with a behind-the-back move before finding junior forward Taylor Jones for an easy layup.

“I ran the same thing back-to-back-to-back for Sonya and Shaylee because they kept making their shots,” said Harmon. “I just kept doing the same thing until they guarded it.”

Despite the Longhorns finding ways to take the ball away from the Jayhawks, Schaefer was unhappy with Texas’ 17 turnovers. 

“Some of them we just turned and threw (them the ball), and it turned to a lack of focus,” Schaefer said. “We have to be focused every night because we’re going to get everybody’s best shot.”

After the win, Schaefer said that the Big 12 is still a very competitive league and that one team could beat any other team on any given day.

“I’ve always tried to keep my team in the mindset of being the hunters,” Schaefer said. “When you come here, you are the hunted. It’s everybody against us. Regardless of the league top to bottom, if you’re not ready to play, you’re going to get beat.”

Texas will return to the Moody Center Sunday to take on No.15 Iowa State.