Two top-15 matchups in one week proved to be a heavy burden for the No. 8 Longhorns.
Texas (1–2) fell to No. 10 Mississippi State (4–0) 75-65 on Sunday night in Starkville, Mississippi, less than a week after falling to No. 11 Stanford in Palo Alto.
The Longhorns led in almost every category in Sunday’s box score, including field goal percentage (48.2 percent), assists (13) and rebounds (36). But Texas also led in turnovers and personal fouls, two issues that also plagued the team against Stanford.
Junior guards Morgan William and Victoria Vivians made the difference for the home team. William scored a game-high 23 points while Vivians added 19.
Texas’ bench scored just seven points in the contest to the Bulldogs’ 18. Head coach Karen Aston said in a post-game radio broadcast that her team needs to work on getting more players involved on the court.
“We’ve got to get a bench,” Aston said. “I think we’ll be able to get some more people off the bench that can give us good minutes. Once we do that, I think we’ll be in a better place.”
The Longhorns stayed up to par with the Bulldogs in the opening 10 minutes. But a series of runs helped the Bulldogs to a 26-point second quarter and a commanding 42-25 lead at the half.
Texas outscored Mississippi State in the second half on the shoulders of junior guards Brooke McCarty and Ariel Atkins and senior guard Brianna Taylor. McCarty led the Longhorns with 19 points on 8-15 shooting and Atkins posted 18 points while going a perfect 4-4 from the line. Taylor scored 12 points for the Longhorns and helped on the defensive end with eight rebounds and a team-high three steals.
Freshman forward Joyner Holmes posted another strong performance for the Longhorns after moving into the starting lineup. Holmes recorded nine points and eight rebounds against the Bulldogs after notching a 22-point game in her first career start against Houston Baptist last week.
After turning the ball over 15 times in the first half, Aston said her team came out aggressive after halftime and did a better job of protecting of the ball.
“I thought that we showed some growth in [the second] half,” Aston said. “You look at a kid like Joyner who I thought really grew up in the second half.”
The Longhorns return home to host Northwestern State on Wednesday at 7 p.m.