Come Saturday afternoon, the Longhorns will be out for double redemption, and they need to earn it.
Texas suffered a devastating loss to TCU on Sunday, breaking a win streak against the Horned Frogs that dated back to Jan. 23, 1976.
The Longhorns need a win against West Virginia on Saturday afternoon to prove they deserve to be recognized in the Big 12 and to get back to their well-established reputation of winning.
In Texas’ last matchup with West Virginia a few weeks ago, the Longhorns held a tight lead for most of the game but couldn’t perform when it truly mattered and ended up losing the game.
Head coach Karen Aston and her team knew West Virginia was a team they could have beaten, whether it was at home or away. It was, as Aston said, “an extremely disappointing loss.”
But Texas managed to bounce back to earn a solid win over Kansas — a win Aston described as “essential,” since it was at home.
“We knew we should have had the West Virginia game,” sophomore Imani McGee-Stafford said. “We were all driven to get back in the gym and practice and make sure we focused and corrected our problems.”
The Longhorns fell to TCU, another team they could have easily beaten, just four days later.
“We didn’t have the desire to win in the first half,” Aston said. “Some people need to get hungry again. You get in the situation where you’re getting a lot of minutes and you get comfortable.”
Along with Texas’ need to play with a sense of unrest, it needs to get a hold of the ball and keep it.
“One of our biggest problems with West Virginia is turnovers,” McGee-Stafford said.
Indeed, 23 of West Virginia’s 56 points were made off turnovers.
This time around, the circumstances are different. West Virginia is coming into the game on a four-game win streak, while Texas is trying to shake off defeat. But Texas will have the home court advantage this time.
“The West Virginia loss was a road game,” Aston said. “When they got the momentum, that made the difference. Once they got hot late in the game, it really helped them in overtime.”
The Longhorns are hoping that, if it comes down to the wire again, they will be able to feed off the fans’ energy to pull off the win.