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

No. 12 Texas women’s basketball defense shows up, upsets No. 2 Kansas State

Skyler Sharp
Texas alumni hug as the buzzer sounds to end the game against Kansas State on Sunday. The Longhorns defeated the #2 ranked Wildcats 61-54.

No. 12 Texas women’s basketball defeats No. 2 Kansas State 61-54 in front of a loud Moody Center crowd. 8,325 fans showed up to support the top 25 matchup.

“The student section, y’all were lit,” junior forward Aaliyah Moore said. “We appreciate the fans, everyone that came out. We couldn’t have done it without y’all.”

Prior to this game, Kansas State only had two losses. The first against Iowa before the start of conference play and the other in a big upset against Oklahoma on Jan. 31. This is the second consecutive loss for the conference leaders. Texas, which also had an upsetting loss to Oklahoma, is now on a three-win streak as it fights the Wildcats and West Virginia for the second-place spot in the Big 12.

“(The team) is good enough and I tell them that all the time,” Texas head coach Vic Schaefer said. “We’ve got to keep getting better and keep working. Like our ceiling, we’re way away from it.”

Texas maintained the lead throughout the entire game, but it wasn’t easy. After the Longhorns went on a 6-0 run to open the scoreboard, Kansas State reacted and narrowed the gap to 6-4. 

At halftime, the Wildcats were 10 points behind. Texas had its largest lead of 19 points during the third quarter at 41-22 as the team thrived defensively. 

It wasn’t until the end of the fourth quarter that Kansas State gave the Longhorns a scare. On a 10-point scoring run in the last two minutes of the game, redshirt sophomore forward Gisela Sanchez and redshirt freshman guard Zyanna Walker brought Texas’ lead down to five points.

Freshman forward Madison Booker scored 20 or more points for the third consecutive time and hasn’t scored outside of the double figures for 13 games. Booker had five turnovers in the first half.

“She’s a heck of a player for a lot of reasons,” Kansas State’s head coach Jeff Mittie said. “Most freshmen that struggle in the first half don’t always have the mental maturity to recover from that, and especially with all the things that (the team) is asking her to do differently than what they thought she might be doing. I’m really impressed with her game, really impressed with the tough shots she gets.”

Senior forward Taylor Jones had only scored two points against the Wildcats when she played them in Manhattan. In their second matchup, Jones reached the double figures with 13 points and had eight rebounds. Moore led the Longhorns in rebounds and reached a double-double in the last seconds of the game as she went two for two on free throws. Moore had 10 points and 15 rebounds at full time.

Sophomore guard Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda had seven points in the game, and despite not being a starter for the team, she has proven her place and earned more playtime in the past three games. Schaefer said Mwenentanda is confident and playing the way he expected her to.

“I’ve really just trusted in my teammates,” Mwenentanda said. “Some people think, from a selfish level, that ‘Oh, I’m not getting enough playtime, then I must be doing something wrong.’ But my teammates are great players, and I know they want the best for me as I do for them.”

The Longhorns won’t be back home until Feb. 17 when they face Iowa State. Texas will have a six-day break before facing TCU in Fort Worth on Saturday.

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