Williams, Warren lead No. 10 Texas over UTSA 98-54
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Longhorns took a big blow to their lineup when senior guard Lashann Higgs was lost for the season with a knee injury. Freshman Audrey Warren has stepped up in her place and handled it quite well so far.
Warren scored 13 points in her third career start and Danni Williams scored 22 as No. 10 Texas rolled over Texas-San Antonio 98-54 on Wednesday.
Warren’s play has been a boost for a team that lost a player coach Karen Aston was counting on for leadership as well as points, steals and rebounds. Since taking over for Higgs, Warren has made a game-winning shot against Quinnipiac and was selected the Big 12 co-freshman of the week after Texas won the Gulf Coast Showcase tournament over Thanksgiving.
“She has a very constant work ethic about her. She doesn’t turn it on and off,” Aston said.
Warren went 6 of 10 from the field in 21 minutes against UTSA, including several aggressive moves to grab rebounds for put-backs. She has only two turnovers in four games. About the only thing she’s struggling with is 3-point shooting, where she’s 3 of 18 this season after missing all three attempts Wednesday.
“I’m not here to make every play, but to make every play that I can,” Warren said. “I knew (Higgs) going down doesn’t change how we all have to play. As long as I can bring what I was always going to bring, it will be OK.”
Jatarie White added 14 points for the Longhorns, who will face a much tougher test Sunday against No. 6 Mississippi State, which lost in the national championship game each of the last two seasons.
Marie Benson scored 14 points to lead to lead UTSA (3-5). The Roadrunners made their first five shots to stay with the Longhorns early before Texas tightened up defensively and ran away in a rout. UTSA shot just 6 of 25 the rest of the first half as Texas built a 50-29 lead by halftime.
Texas opened the third quarter with a 19-2 run that put the game out of reach.
Despite the lopsided score, Aston said she didn’t like the way her team played after winning the holiday tournament in Florida.
“We can’t just show up on Sunday and decide we will just flip a switch and play,” Aston said. “I don’t know if we’re mature enough yet.”
UTSA: The Roadrunners play in Conference USA and had to punch way above their weight class to stay in this one, but they whiffed after a few early jabs in the first quarter. The Roadrunners couldn’t force turnovers and were dominated on the boards 50-24. Texas scored more than 100 points in the last two meetings.
“We knew what we were up against,” UTSA coach Kristen Holt said. “There’s no practicing against that length and speed.”
Texas: The Longhorns’ lineup is still a work in progress. Texas will get junior forward Joyner Holmes back from ankle surgery in December and is still waiting on 6-foot-7 freshman Sedona Prince to return from a broken leg suffered while playing with the U.S. under-19 national team in Mexico City last summer.
Aston got career win No. 250 in her 12th season. It was win No. 149 for her in seven seasons at Texas. That’s still a long way from the winningest coach in program history. Jody Conradt won 783 games at Texas from 1976-2007.
UTSA hosts Utah State on Dec. 5.
Texas hosts No. 6 Mississippi State on Sunday.