Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas earns final non-conference win without key players

Assad Malik
Rori Harmon attempts to score against Texas Tech on Feb 8. 2022. Texas defeated Texas Tech 80 – 71.

Before facing Baylor in their first Big 12 conference game of the year, the Longhorns faced the Jackson State Tigers at the Moody Center on Wednesday night. Texas won 97-52 finishing the non-conference part of its season undefeated.

The Longhorns may have won big, but there are some questions still left to be answered. Without key players in the lineup, the offense didn’t show the same kind of dominance or defensive pressure, yet players like freshman forward Madison Booker and fifth-year guard Shaylee Gonzales stepped up to lead the Longhorns to victory.

Senior forward Taylor Jones missed another game after head coach Vic Schaefer described her status as “day-to-day,” leaving some to wonder how serious her hip injury is. Junior guard Rori Harmon was also inactive against the Tigers and could be seen walking with a limp. Harmon’s status is currently up in the air.

“I don’t really have anything for you right now, but we’ll know more tomorrow,” Coach Schaefer said. 

Jones is a force down low, getting to her spot and taking high-percentage shots. Yet her impact on defense was sorely missed against the Tigers. Jackson State was able to pull down 24 offensive rebounds.

“The only thing I’m concerned about is the 24 offensive boards that we gave up,” Schaefer said. 

Without Harmon running the show, there were times when the offense seemed discombobulated and lacking communication.The Longhorns took shots far deeper into the shot clock than they normally do, resulting in heaves towards the rim and 14 turnovers. Coach Schaefer wasn’t pleased with what he saw.

“We got a little sloppy handling the ball,” Schaefer said. 

Yet, the Longhorns scored 97 points thanks to five players tallying double digit scoring totals. Gonzales and Booker scored 21 and 16 points respectively including six buckets from beyond the arc from the veteran guard.

This is the first time this season Booker started in the point guard position due to Harmon’s absence. The true freshman showed strong poise and composure by committing only one turnover on nine assists.

“My mindset was just, ‘take care of the ball,’ it starts with me taking care of the ball,” Booker said. 

Gonzales found her shot early and credits her teammates as to why she had a strong night.

“I was just feeling it tonight and my teammates got me the ball when I was open,” Gonzales said.

The Longhorns have just three days before embarking on their final campaign as members of the Big 12 conference Saturday at the Moody Center. Texas will open Big 12 play against No. 10 Baylor.

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About the Contributors
Emmanuel Ramirez, Senior Audio Producer
Emmanuel Ramirez is a journalism junior from Brownsville, Texas. Currently he works as the senior audio producer for Texan Overtime and previously was a general audio staffer. He enjoys throwing down on the grill and playing Smash Bros.
Assad Malik, Photo Editor
Assad Malik is a sophomore RTF major at UT and serves as the Photo Editor for The Daily Texan.