On Sun. Feb. 8 the Texas Longhorns women’s basketball team fell to the Baylor Bears 70-68.
Texas has made adjustments based upon injuries including Senior forward, Nneka Enemkpali and Sophomore Nekia Jones with a knee injury.
Baylor took an early lead in the beginning of the first half. Texas kept momentum with junior guard, Brady Sanders with 6 assisting, scoring 3 points and creating 1 turnover for the longhorns.
Freshman guard, Brook McCarty scored a three point shot with a layup from sophomore center, Kelsey Lang making it 30-28, just trailing behind Baylor by two points.
At the end of the first period Lang and Sanders both scored nine points for a combined 18 points. Lang didn’t stop with scoring points. She dominated with 8 rebounds, making it a close 38-32, Baylor still on top.
Texas Women’s Head Coach, Karen Aston and the Longhorns needed to make adjustments for the final half.
“As we made early adjustments as the game started with defense,” reflected Aston. “We played with a sense of urgency. Today they stayed in it,” said Aston.
Texas kept the pressure on Baylor during the second half. Freshman guard, Ariel Atkins scores a 3 pointer, gaining momentum of 50-42 with Baylor in the lead.
Halfway through the second period Lang scored 16 points. Both teams plays major defense against each other as time was winding off the clock.
Lang continued not to give up for her team making it 62-57 with just under five minutes left in the second period totaling 18 points. Sanders had a total of 11 points scored at 3 minutes left in the second period.
“Our team did some things today a lot better today such as getting our turnovers downs,” commented Aston. “We worked on some things we haven’t worked on a lot this year. I’m pleased with how we played the game today.”
In the final three minutes of the second half you could hear the crowd chanting, “Go Texas go!” and “Texas fight!”
In the final three minutes, Lang shot for two points and McCarty and Sanders both scored three point shots. The valiant effort made by the Longhorns wasn’t enough to win the game.
Lang has made improvements since the past few games. She credits her teammates for keeping her focus.
“I didn’t have confidence. I think that my teammates pushed me, said Lang. “They were the reason I got through that.”
Coach Aston agrees Lang’s college career has changed from now to last year during her freshman year.
“We’ve seen ups and downs but, as far as where she is now and last year is light years,” reflected Aston. “Today Kelsey had a presence.”
The injury of Enemkpali has been difficult on the team and has been an adjustment to make improvements. Sanders expressed one element the longhorns are working on is rebounds. Enemkpali was always there to catch loose balls.
“Were trying to learn to cope with it,” said Sanders.
Lang is working hard to fill the role her teammate has left with every practice and game.
“No one person will be able to fulfill what she was,” states Lang. “Were all starting to realize that and take on a little part of her role.”
As Aston and the team anxiously await to review film and make improvements Lang does find a high note to end the day with.
“I think that if we take one positive out of the game is that we fought like a team today,” concluded Lang.