Texas women’s basketball defeats Kansas, 79-70

15 Jan By
College World Series
Texas center Charli Collier scored 28 points and pulled down 14 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season to lead the Texas women's basketball team to a 79-70 win over Kansas (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

AUSTIN, Texas — Anchored by the veteran duo of Celeste Taylor and Charli Collier, who combined for 51 points, the No. 21 Texas women's basketball team took down Kansas Thursday night, 79-70, at the Frank Erwin Center.

The victory improved UT's record to 9-2 overall on the year, and 3-1 in games against Big 12 opponents. KU fell to 5-3 overall, and 1-1 against conference foes.

With forward/center Lauren Ebo back in the lineup after a two-game absence, Collier found more open shots, and led the Longhorns with 28 points and 14 rebounds. It marked her seventh double-double of the season, a number that is fourth-best in Div. I.

After struggling with a foot injury over the last couple of games, Taylor exploded against the Jayhawks, scoring 23 points and going 4-of-6 from three-point range.

Collier and Taylor became the first Texas duo to each score 20 or more points in a game this season.

Coming into the game after a miserable 34-point road loss to West Virginia last Saturday, Texas desperately needed a Big 12 win.

"Everybody was fired up to go because we knew that we're a better team than what we displayed the previous game," Taylor said postgame.

Texas took a 23-20 lead at the end of the first quarter, in which Collier scored three times in a 77-second span to open the game.

The second quarter was where the game opened up, with Kansas barely outscoring Collier and Taylor, 18-17, as Texas took a 44-38 lead into the half. The second half proved to be much of the same story, as the Jayhawks, who entered the game 1-0 in Big 12 play, could not keep up with the Horns fast-paced attack. UT's lead was trimmed down to five at one point, but Kansas never got any closer.

Following the victory, Schaefer noted that he was pleased with his team's effort, but would like to see more out of the group moving forward, especially defensively. Texas forced 15 KU turnovers, but also allowed 46 points in the paint.

"We're still young, we're still inexperienced and we still lack some maturity," Schaefer said. "It is what it is. We've got to deal with that and coach better and teach better."

The head coach said he does not know if the problems will be corrected by the time Texas returns to the floor at 3 p.m. Sunday against Texas Tech. However, he did state that he knows they will be corrected soon.

"It's not probably going to get fixed in a week. It's probably not going to get fixed in a month," Schaefer told the media. "But it will get fixed at some point. They just need the experience of playing. We have just two kids out there who played more than 20 minutes a game last year. It takes all five to have a great defensive team."

Forward Audrey Warren did not play against Kansas, and the timetable for her return is unknown.

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley