No. 12 Texas women’s basketball secures co-ownership of Big 12 Championship title after 80-52 victory over Kansas State

Emma Hutchinson, Senior Sports Reporter

On the road for their final regular season game, No. 12 Texas women’s basketball traveled to Manhattan this weekend to face Kansas State, cashing in its second win against the Wildcats this season, 80-52. 

This win secured Texas’ share in the Big 12 Championship title alongside No. 16 Oklahoma, with both teams finishing the regular season 14–4. The Longhorns haven’t seen a Big 12 title since 2004, marking a historic moment for a young roster.      

Coming away with an unexpected loss against Baylor at home last week, the Longhorns seemed to take it personally, entering their matchup against Kansas State with determination as they hoped to cling onto their first place Big 12 standing. 

Bringing the same positivity and persistence as always was sophomore guard Rori Harmon. After attempting to salvage the team’s performance against Baylor, Harmon felt that the amount of energy radiating from her teammates wasn’t acceptable. Despite having a subtle pace during the first half, Harmon eventually found her groove on the defensive side of things, reeling in five defensive rebounds, 12 assists and two blocks. 

Harmon is one of two players in NCAA Division I women’s basketball who currently average at least 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game, tied with Iowa guard Caitlin Clark. 

Head coach Vic Schaefer has continuously acknowledged the team’s defensive weaknesses, but the Longhorns had no trouble taking care of Kansas State’s offense on Saturday. Texas kept the lead for the entire game, getting as far as 32 points ahead of the Wildcats during the fourth quarter.

A steady and reliable Texas offense managed to hold one of Kansas State’s top scorers, senior guard Gabby Gregory, to only three points when she usually averages nearly 20 points per game.        

Transfers graduate guard Shaylee Gonzales and junior forward Taylor Jones showcased their chemistry, racking up a combined total of 38 points and five steals. The duo has been successful in stepping up to lead the team in times of need, with Gonzales scoring in double figures in 22 games this season, including this one, and Jones averaging 9.4 points per game.

Jones has been one of many players who have been inconsistent in their appearances on the court due to injury, but she has recently been seeing more time on the court. Jones possesses a key skill of being able to capitalize on scoring during the time she has, which has been a crucial asset to the team’s offensive success. 

During their contest versus Baylor, Jones saw a season-high 34 minutes, obtaining 15 points, 13 rebounds and a double-double. Against Kansas State, Jones flaunted a 77.8% field goal success rate and went 3-for-3 in free throws during the 18 minutes she was given. 

Texas will enter its postseason schedule as the March Madness tournament begins on Saturday, March 12, with the Moody Center being a potential host for the first and second rounds of the event.