By Steve Lansdale
AUSTIN, Texas — Freshman guard Lashann Higgs had 17 points, eight rebounds and a career-high eight assists to lead the No. 5-ranked University of Texas women’s basketball team to an 83-49 rout of Sam Houston State at the Frank Erwin Center. The victory, in the final non-conference game of the season, improved the Longhorns’ record to 11-0.
“I think you always have to be pleased when you have a team that can go an extended amount of time without a loss,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said. “We were able to go through some really tough games, some games on the road, and withstand the different environments and be able to win. But I think our team has to start playing better. I haven’t been critical of this team, because I think they want to be great, but we aren’t playing at the level we need to play at as we go into conference play.”
Higgs, who also established new career highs with four assists and 26 minutes of playing time, said the ultimate gratification from the best performance of her young career came in the form of the UT victory, and said her primary focus was on aspects of the game that are not always readily apparent in the box score.
“It’s rewarding when you can help your team,” Higgs said. “As a player, there is always something you can control, which is defense. The offense isn’t always going to go the way you want it to go all of the time, so I try and just focus on defending and rebounding.”
Three other Longhorns scored in double figures: guard Ariel Atkins scored a season-high 12 points, while forward Jordan Hosey and center Kelsey Lang added 10 points each. Hosey’s 10 points marked the first time she has scored in double figures in her freshman season at Texas.
UT simply was too big, fast and deep for Sam Houston State. The Longhorns enjoyed lopsided advantages in rebounds (43-24), points in the paint (52-14), points off turnovers (36-9), fast-break points (28-2) and bench scoring (62-23).
If there was a negative for the Longhorns, it was in their long-range shooting. Texas missed all 10 field goals from behind the three-point line, marking the first time it failed to hit a single shot from long-range in a game since getting blanked by Missouri in the Big 12 Conference Tournament March 6, 2007.
The ’Horns begin facing Big 12 opponents at 6 p.m. (central time) Wednesday when they head to Morgantown, W.Va. The game can be seen live, and free of charge, at WVUSports.com.