The Frank Erwin Center opens its doors to a pair of ranked visitors this weekend.
The Texas men’s basketball team hosts No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday, and the Longhorn women’s basketball team will play its third ranked opponent in four games when they take on No. 14 Stanford on Sunday at noon.
Head coach Karen Aston’s team heads into the tilt after a dramatic 13-point, fourth-quarter comeback against Little Rock last Saturday.
The Longhorns (7-0) failed to score in the third quarter but rattled off 15 in a row to start the fourth and outscored Little Rock, 31-8, in the period. Aston said the change of pace speaks highly of the team’s maturity.
“If you had looked at that scenario last year, we might have cratered,” Aston said.
Aston also said that the NCAA’s switch from halves to quarters allowed her team to push a reset button that wasn’t available in prior seasons.
Stanford (6-1) averages 72.6 points per game, the exact same mark Texas has averaged through seven games this season. Texas boasts a rebound margin of +13.3 compared to Stanford’s +0.9.
Aston said that the Cardinal will put an emphasis on stopping the Texas frontcourt from dominating the game.
“They’ll challenge us in a way that will be different from what we’ve seen in the last two or three games,” Aston said. “I think they’re a solid, fundamental basketball team. To be able to beat them, you have to do a lot of things well.”
Senior center Imani Boyette was named Big 12 Co-Player of the Week after averaging 15.5 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game in a pair of wins over then No. 9 Mississippi State and Little Rock.
Sophomore guard Brooke McCarty led the charge in Little Rock, putting up a career-high 23 points, including a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Aston said free throws plague the team and have led to a decrease in offensive production in recent games. Texas has failed to register at least 70 points in its last three games, a feat it accomplished in all of its first four.
Still, Aston said she isn’t worried about the misses from the line, but she’s more concerned with the overall energy level of the team.
“I thought we sort of got to a standstill after the Mississippi State game,” Aston said. “Our practices weren’t very productive. We didn’t play very well at [Little Rock].”
Aston said that if the team doesn’t get back to producing at a high level, Stanford will likely win. All eyes turn to the undefeated Longhorns on Sunday afternoon.