Rori Harmon and Shaylee Gonzales lead Texas to a clutch 68–55 road win over Baylor

Emma Hutchinson, Senior Sports Reporter

Entering its fourth Big 12 Conference road game for the season, Texas women’s basketball went bear hunting.  

The Longhorns claimed a 68–55 win over the Baylor Bears, presenting themselves with assertion and dominance after a tight four-point loss against Texas Tech last week.  

But as Texas closed in with three and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter, sophomore guard Rori Harmon suffered a hard fall and exited the court, struggling to stay upright. Harmon did not return for the rest of the evening, but no injury has been announced.

The Longhorns went 11–3 with Harmon in the starting lineup. She averages 11.5 points and 9.2 assists per game in conference play. Harmon has been getting crucial game time, playing for 40 minutes each in four of the past six conference games and only missing six minutes within the last five. Against Baylor, Harmon put up 13 points and led the team with six assists.   

Earlier in the season, Harmon suffered a foot injury that kept her on the bench for the first five games. Another break for Harmon within the heat of conference play, especially with their matchup against the No. 15 Oklahoma Sooners on Wednesday, could cause trouble for the Longhorns in terms of keeping their flow alive.  

“She just sets the tone,” head coach Vic Schaefer said. “She’s playing her guts out, out there on the ball, and there’s so much value to that that you just can’t take it for granted. She knows I don’t take it for granted.”

Texas climbed back into the AP Poll Top 25 rankings after defeating then-ranked No. 23 Kansas and then-ranked No. 15 Iowa State. After their victory against Baylor, the Longhorns currently sit at No. 25, but Schaefer previously expressed his disappointment in the team’s mentality going into their matchups on the road.

“It’s disappointing, and to me, it’s a real focus issue. Both (the Oklahoma State and Tech) games, we still had a chance to win,” Schaefer said in a media availability on Jan. 20. “When you’re on the road in this league, no matter who you’re playing, you better be on point or you’re not only going to get beat, you’ll get embarrassed.”

Another major catalyst to the team’s overall success is graduate guard Shaylee Gonzales. The BYU transfer was recently named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association National Player of the Week after her impressive performance against the Kansas Jayhawks. Gonzales put up a season-high of 26 points during that game and has been racking up double-digit points per game since. 

Gonzales almost matched Harmon’s stats perfectly against Baylor; the guards played 37 and 35 minutes, respectively, and each acquired 13 points and six rebounds. The Arizona product has only recently been acquiring more game time and currently averages 12.0 points per game and shoots at a field goal percentage of 0.410. 

Despite missing a majority of the preseason as a transfer, Gonzales continues to prove herself to be a dangerous offensive asset, one that could be the key to keeping Texas in the running.

“There’s a bunch of new faces but also a bunch of girls that aren’t from Texas and don’t necessarily understand the rivalries,” junior guard Shay Holle said during the same media availability. “It’s not only a new culture for them, but it’s just understanding that especially on the road, we have to be on point.” 

Texas will return to the Moody Center on Wednesday to take on Oklahoma.