Confetti rained down onto the Frank Erwin Center court following the Longhorns’ 70-46 win against Kansas on Wednesday night. Several players drowned head coach Karen Aston in paper ornaments before leaving the floor.
But it wasn’t for any sort of championship; instead, it marked a huge milestone for the program.
“This was a really fun night — a night that I think we had all been looking forward to,” head coach Karen Aston said. “Obviously as it got closer [we] had the opportunity to talk to a lot of former players and fans that were able to reflect back on 1,000 wins.”
Texas became the fifth program in history to win 1,000 games with a its win over the Jayhawks.
A video tribute followed the game. Scenes of former head coach Jody Conradt’s teams were displayed on the big screen. Conradt piled up 783 wins and one national championship at Texas.
“It hits you that you’re a part of history,” Aston said. “For me, as a coach, to listen to [Conradt’s] comments, you realize the enormity of the program and what accomplishments have been made here at Texas.”
The game itself paled in comparison to the program’s accomplishment.
Sophomore guard Brooke McCarty nailed a trio of three-pointers in the first five minutes to give Texas an early 12-4 lead.
McCarty finished the game with 13 points.
Kansas pulled to within five early in the second quarter. The Jayhawks hit two consecutive threes to trim the Longhorns’ lead 20-15.
Kansas was shooting 50.0 percent from the field at that point. The Jayhawks’ sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge finished with a team-high 15 points, all of which came from beyond the arc.
But the Jayhawks’ success wouldn’t last long.
The Longhorns finished the quarter on a 19-0 run to take a 39-15 lead into halftime. Texas held Kansas scoreless for the final 7:45 of the first half.
Texas upped its shooting percentage to 48.4 percent by the half; Kansas’ percentage plummeted to 31.6 percent.
Senior center Imani Boyette started the run with a pair of layups, marking a personal spurt of eight consecutive points. Boyette ended with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The double-double is Boyette’s eighth in nine conference games this season.
Ironically, the only game in which Boyette did not earn a double-double in conference play was against Kansas earlier in January. She sat out the entire fourth quarter of that 75-38 Texas victory.
Aston said she’s happy that the milestone has been accomplished, but it was just one of many goals she has for her team.
“It was an unexpected goal that wasn’t necessarily written down or talked about when we started the season,” Aston said. “But it became a goal in the middle of it. It’s just one to check off.”