#3 Texas Drops Louisiana in a Game to be Forgotten

Rough.  Not a diamond in a rough.  Just rough. 

That’s the best way to describe the #3 University of Texas Longhorns (1-0) women’s basketball team as the defeat University of Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (1-1), 68-to-45. 

This is not the team that I expected to see after two, 100-point plus exhibition games, and a team about to travel to Storrs, Connecticut to take on the #6 Huskies. 

The Longhorns committed 25 turnovers, shot only 39% from the floor and 9% from beyond the arc.  The turnovers were the most for a Schaefer-coached team at Texas. 

No surprise that late in the third quarter Texas head coach Vic Schaeffer simply cradled his head in his hand in what looked like despair. 

The Longhorns were led Taylor Jones with 21 points. Jones converted 9-of-14 from the field for a 66 percent field goal percentage. Also scoring in double-figures for the Longhorns, freshman Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda and junior Shay Holle scored 10 points apiece. Holle added a career-high five steals. Both Jones and Mwenentanda came off bench. 

Texas was without sophomore phenom Rori Harmon, who I saw in the bowels of the Moody Center two hours before tip-off in a walking boot, carrying a pizza box.  According to a team spokesperson, Harmon is “being evaluated by the Texas athletic training staff and team doctors and is day-to-day.”

In his postgame press conference, Schaefer said that Harmon was sidelined by a toe injury.  “It’s nothing, you know, major-major, but she’s being evaluated daily,” Schaefer said. “That’s kind of where we are with her right now.”

“Whether it was opening-night jitters or whatever it was, but we had some really poor decisions,” Schaefer said. “People are going to press us until Rori’s back, which I don’t know when she’ll be back, but until she is, they’re going to press us.” 

Louisiana came within 10 points of Texas with just under six minutes remaining, but the Longhorns put away the game by scoring 13 of the last 16 points of the game. 

One bright spot was Texas’ defense, acknowledge Louisiana head coach Garry Brodhead, saying, “Our field goal percentage is not because we can’t shoot. It’s because of their defense,” 

Texas has held an opponent to 45 points or fewer only nine times in the past five seasons.  

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