Texas Tech cut the Texas lead to 10 points with 7:47 left in the game — the smallest lead the Longhorns had since the 4:19 mark of the third quarter.
Head coach Karen Aston called a timeout to settle her team down. The Longhorns had seen a 17-point lead dwindle to 10 in less than two minutes of play.
The Longhorns never looked back coming out of the timeout as they went on an 8-1 run leading to an 82-62 rout of Texas Tech in Austin on Saturday night.
Senior guard Empress Davenport started the rally with a corner three, her second of the quarter. Davenport finished with 14 points and four rebounds.
Aston said that the timeout was called to make a defensive change despite the flurry of points the Longhorns (13-0, 2-0 Big 12) scored after the break in action.
“Their guards are good,” Aston said of the Red Raiders’ backcourt. “They’re hard to guard. They got hot on us, and we had to sort of change some things.”
Texas Tech freshman guard Japreece Dean, a Cedar Park native, dazzled hometown fans with 21 points.
Senior center Imani Boyette, however, stole the show. Boyette scored 24 points and brought down 11 rebounds, both of which were game highs.
Boyette scored three times while being fouled. She answered by making the and-1 free throw all three times. Boyette said that her big night was a result of her teammates giving her the ball in good positions to score.
“We have a plan for us to attack any time we touch the ball,” Boyette said of herself and fellow center, junior Kelsey Lang. “Coach just says, ‘If you have the shot, take it, and take it confidently.’”
Lang finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Boyette and Lang combined to shoot 15-of-23 from the field.
“I think our guards have been doing a really good job of moving the ball around the perimeter,” Lang said. “I think they’re playing really smart with taking shots when they’re open and throwing it inside when they need to.”
Senior guard Celina Rodrigo dished out a team-high five assists. She also made the most of her shooting opportunities, drilling 2-of-3 shots from beyond the arc.
Texas sits undefeated after 13 games for the second-consecutive season. Last year, Iowa State knocked off Texas for the Longhorns’ first loss of the season. The Cyclones travel to Austin on Wednesday to try to accomplish the same feat.
Aston said that this year’s team might be more talented and deeper on the bench, but she gave a different reason why her squad is more prepared this season.
“I think it’s a more mature team,” Aston said. “I think they handle the day-to-day events, no matter what they are, a little more maturely than last year’s team.”