No. 4/4 Women’s Basketball drops first game of season to No. 6/7 Baylor, 80-67

Filed under: Sports,UT Women's Basketball |

Senior Imani Boyette registered her ninth double-double of the season and fifth of conference play.

AUSTIN, Texas— Senior Imani Boyette recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 15 points and 17 rebounds, and sophomore Brooke McCarty registered a team-high 16 points to lead No. 4/4 Texas in its first loss of the season against No. 6/7 Baylor, 80-67, in front of 8,996 fans inside the Frank Erwin Center.

Win the loss, the Longhorns (16-1, 5-1 Big 12 Conference) end their best season-opening undefeated streak since the 1985-86 NCAA Championship team. Texas has gone 3-1 when playing ranked opponents this season and leads the all-time series against Baylor, 57-33.

“I just want to say how impressed I was with the turnout today,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said. “The electricity in the arena and the support that the city of Austin and the community gave to our team today, that was absolutely phenomenal. We just didn’t play the way we’ve been playing all year long. I have to obviously give [Baylor] some credit. They did some things that challenged us in a way that we haven’t been challenged in a while. We had too many turnovers in the first half, and I just didn’t think we rebounded the ball the way that we have been. So we’ll go back to the drawing board.”

Boyette’s double-double was rooted in a 6-for-11 effort from the field, and her 17 rebounds ties the season-high she set against Iowa State on Jan. 6. She has posted a double-double in five of six conference games this season.

McCarty’s 16 points, including four three-pointers, came from a 6-for-8 shooting effort. Junior Kelsey Lang had a team-high three blocks, and freshman Lashann Higgs swiped two steals on the game.

As a team, Texas shot 43.1 percent (25-for-58) from the field and 44.4 percent (8-for-18) from behind the arc, while holding Baylor to a 38.2 (26-for-68) shooting percentage.

Baylor (18-1, 5-1 Big 12 Conference) was led by redshirt junior Alexis Jones with a game-high 29 points.

McCarty would get things started early with a triple, and Boyette would drill a jumper to make it 5-0 Texas at the 7:24 mark of the first. Baylor would battle back to tie things at seven, but Boyette would net a three-pointer and Lang would add a layup to give Texas the 12-7 advantage, forcing a Baylor timeout at the 5:28 mark. The Lady Bears would come back with a 17-4 run to end the first quarter, 26-20 Baylor.

The Horns would spend the second quarter trying to cut into the Lady Bear lead, but Baylor would hold a 10-point advantage (35-25) at the first timeout of the second. They would extend their advantage to as much as 14 after a jumper at the 1:51 mark, but the Longhorns would end the half with a Boyette layup to go into the locker rooms trailing 29-41.

After trading three-pointers to start the third, the Lady Bears would continue to pull ahead, taking their largest 19-point lead of the night at the 3:29 mark. Texas would end the quarter on a 9-2 run, including a six-point swing just under the two-minute mark thanks to three-point conversions from McCarty and senior Empress Davenport. Baylor would drain one with 57 seconds left and end the quarter with the 60-48 advantage.

The Longhorns would steadily battle back in the fourth, cutting the deficit to as little as six after a Boyette jumper with 3:12 remaining in regulation. Baylor would keep busy from the line, rallying behind a 96 percent (24-for-25) effort from the charity stripe to take the game, 80-67.

The Longhorns will look to get back on track as they travel to Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday to play TCU. Tip-off in the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast on Fox College Sports.