Texas topples Kansas despite critical self-assessment

AddThis

Photo Credit: Carlos Garcia | Daily Texan Staff

Early in the second quarter, Kansas’ Kylee Kopatich launched a wide-open 3-pointer. She missed the shot off the back of the rim, but the shot clock failed to reset and resulted in a turnover.

The play was immediately reviewed, and after about three seconds of deliberation, the officials determined that Kansas would be given the ball with 25 seconds to shoot. About four seconds later, the Jayhawks committed another turnover, and this one counted.

More importantly, this sequence elucidated the Jayhawks’ struggles: failing to capitalize on opportunities during the Longhorns’ 62-43 win on Wednesday night.

Make no mistake — Texas was clearly the more talented team from the outset and rightfully won the game, but the Jayhawks gave their fans very little to “Rock Chalk” about, especially in the first half.

Kansas shot an egregious 17 percent from the field, including an abysmal 3-of-18 from deep, and would go on to shoot a season-low 26 percent from the floor and 13 percent from beyond the arch.

“You’ve got to make shots,” Kansas head coach Brandon Schneider said after the game. “I think every loss is different. I wouldn’t say that I feel like we could have won it (if Kansas made more shots), but I feel like we could have been much more competitive had we made shots.”

However, despite the poor level of play Kansas exhibited, Texas failed to capitalize and maintained just a nine-point halftime lead.

This was a recurring theme in the second half, and although Texas ultimately won by 19 points, its level of play left much to be desired.

Although Texas managed to extend their lead back to 14 going in to the fourth, an early back-and-forth sequence between the two teams appeared to be cause for concern. Was Texas going to flirt with disaster, again?

The answer, consolingly to Texas fans, was no. Texas managed to finally preserve a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter for the first time at home in conference play.

As the final horn sounded, a vexed Karen Aston walked over to the play-by-play radio broadcasters for her final thoughts on the game.

“I apologize for tonight’s performance,” Aston said. “I didn’t think we had poor effort, but we weren’t focused, and I apologize for that.”

Sug Sutton, the point guard who has effectively emerged as the leader of this team, wasn’t in much of a better mood and blamed guard play for a disappointing performance.  “We weren’t ourselves tonight,” Sutton said. “It started with me. Our tempo was really bad coming into the game. Like (Aston) said, our guard play was pretty bad tonight.”

Texas has three days off before its matchup against Texas Tech in Lubbock on Saturday, giving the Longhorns time to refocus and resettle. Until then, Aston left the media with this statement: “We’re going to have to play a lot better on Saturday, for sure.”