No. 7/7 Texas Women’s Basketball uses second-half run to down Kansas, 79-62

Filed under: Sports,UT Women's Basketball |

AUSTIN, Texas – Senior guard Ariel Atkins recorded a team-high 22 points as No. 7/7 Texas Women’s Basketball earned a 79-62 victory over Kansas on Saturday afternoon at the Frank Erwin Center. Atkins added a career-high seven steals and matched a team-high with nine boards in 31 minutes of action.

Ariel Atkins (23). Photo by texassports.com

Junior guard Lashann Higgs contributed 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field while sophomore guard Sug Sutton scored 14 points and dished out three assists. Sophomore forward Joyner Holmes had 11 points and brought down nine rebounds.

Texas outrebounded KU by a 47-27 margin and held a 22-3 advantage in second chance points. UT converted 22 Jayhawk turnovers into 30 points.

The Longhorns held an early 10-8 lead midway through the first quarter after Atkins completed a traditional three-point play. KU used an 8-0 spurt to grab their first lead of the contest at 18-15 with 1:32 remaining in the first period. Texas trailed by four (20-16) after the first quarter of action.

UT cut into the Jayhawk lead after senior Brooke McCarty dished it off to Chasity Patterson for a layup on the fast break as the Longhorns trailed, 26-24, with 4:10 to play in the half. A Sutton jumper evened the contest at 26 with 3:35 remaining but a three-minute scoring drought for UT helped Kansas build a five-point advantage (31-26) late in the first half. Holmes connected on a layup and Higgs knocked down a free throw as Texas headed to the break down 31-29.

The Longhorns regained the lead out of halftime after Sutton hit a runner in the lane with 8:47 remaining in the quarter. Texas rattled off a 12-2 run to extend the advantage to double-digits (45-35) at the 5:41 mark following a basket and free throw from McCarty. The teams traded buckets towards the end of the third quarter, but KU was able to trim the Longhorn lead to 53-46 with 1:13 remaining. A pair of free throws from Atkins concluded the UT scoring in the third to give Texas a 57-50 lead heading into the final stanza.

A 3-pointer from the Jayhawks brought KU within 60-55 with eight minutes to play in the final quarter, but Texas answered with an Atkins jumper and putback from junior Jatarie White to stretch the lead back to nine (64-55). UT utilized a 13-0 run over five minutes to build a 20-point advantage with 56 seconds remaining in regulation. The Longhorns held KU to just two field goals in the fourth quarter en route to a 79-62 victory.

Junior Christalah Lyons paced the Jayhawks with 20 points.

The Texas defense held KU to just 26.7 percent (4-15) shooting from beyond-the-arc.

The Longhorns will be back at the Erwin Center to face No.1/1 UConn on Monday, Jan. 15. Tip is set for 6 p.m. CT and will be nationally televised on ESPN2 and broadcast on 105.3 FM in Austin or at texassports.com/audio.