Longhorns take care of business in win over UTSA

AddThis

Photo Credit: Andre Fernandez | Daily Texan Staff

The Frank Erwin Center had a different atmosphere than its usual antagonizing college-student crowd Wednesday morning. Texas welcomed more than 6,800 fourth through seventh grade field trip attendees as a part of a record-setting 9,495 fans in the eighth annual 40 Acres Field Trip game.

“(We) really appreciate the young guys that were here today and the energy they gave the Erwin Center and to our players,” Aston said. “It would be absolutely wonderful if that gym looked like that every time we played.”

But while an energetic young crowd created the loudest environment the Longhorns have played in so far this season, that energy didn’t carry over to an exhausted Texas team, playing their fourth game in six days.

Texas got off to a sluggish start against the UTSA Roadrunners, a team Texas has typically dismantled in recent years, including a 120-70 thrashing last year.

But, as this season is slowly proving, this isn’t last year’s team, in terms of both identity and personnel.

Coming off a hard-earned and costly victory at the Gulf Coast Showcase, the depleted Longhorns struggled to find a rhythm early in the game. And a tenacious Roadrunner squad kept things interesting through the first quarter, holding Texas’ lead to only nine points.

The Roadrunners’ second-year head coach Kristen Holt was pleased with the fight her team had in them to start the game, something she felt they had been lacking in
recent years.

“We’ve come into (the Frank Erwin Center) and had very poor starts at times. But our players came out, and we knew what we were up against. I thought they played hard, I thought they played focused, they executed well,” Holt said.

On the flip side, head coach Karen Aston was frustrated with how the first quarter went for the Longhorns.

“Maybe four games in six or seven days was what today was about, but I didn’t think we had the type of energy or connection that it’s going to take as we move forward in the next couple of games,” Aston said after the game.

However, the Roadrunners’ success was short-lived. Behind the long-anticipated sharpshooting of Danni Williams and a somewhat surprising contribution from the scrappy Audrey Warren, Texas managed to pull away by halftime, taking a 50-29 lead into the break.

“I know that I’m not here to make every play, but to make every play that I can,” Warren said after her third start as a Longhorn. “That energy is something I know I can always bring to the table. I know that everything is just going to come along with that,
offensively especially.”

UTSA was unable to match the Longhorns’ athleticism and length in the second half, as Texas outscored its opponent by a walloping 30-9 margin in the third quarter, before maintaining that lead in the fourth en route to a
98-54 victory.

The Longhorns’ next challenge will be against juggernaut Mississippi State, a team ranked No. 6 in the country after coming off a national
championship appearance.

Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at the Frank Erwin Center as the Longhorns welcome their first ranked opponent of the season.