No. 8 UT Women’s Basketball falls to No. 9 UCLA in NCAA Regional Semifinal

Filed under: Sports,UT Women's Basketball |

The Longhorns end the 2017-18 season 28-7.

Ariel Atkins (23) – photo from texassports.com

TexasSports.com – The No. 8 Texas Longhorns fell to the No. 9 UCLA Bruins on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional Semifinal at the Sprint Center, 84-75. The loss concludes the 2017-18 season for Texas at 28-7.

Texas was led by its fourth-year seniors Ariel Atkins and Brooke McCarty. The duo concluded their careers with a record of 108-32 (.771). The two led Texas to four NCAA Tournament appearances, four NCAA Sweet 16 showings and one NCAA Elite Eight appearance. The two are the first Texas senior class since 1990 to advance to four consecutive NCAA Regional Semifinals.

Atkins scored a team-high 20 points to go along with seven rebounds in 31 minutes of play. Junior forward Jatarie White registered 17 points, while McCarty added 12 points, five assists and two steals. Sophomore guard Sug Sutton totaled 10 points.

The Longhorns placed at least three players in double-figure scoring for the 34th time in 35 games this season.

Texas shot 50.8 percent (32-of-63) from the field, marking the 13th time this season the Longhorns have shot 50 percent or better from the floor. UCLA shot 50.7 percent (35-of-69).

The Longhorns were out-rebounded for just the sixth time in 35 games this season, as the Bruins won the battle of the boards 38-34. Texas committed 21 turnovers, off which UCLA scored 31 points.

In the first quarter, UCLA took an early lead, with the Bruins leading by eight at the end of the quarter. At the beginning of the second period, Texas turned the ball over three times in less than two minutes. At the media timeout, the Bruins led by 10 points, leaving the Longhorns 7-for-19 in field goal attempts.

The Longhorns went on a scoring run, sinking four field goals in a row, while the Bruins went on a 2:25 scoring drought. UCLA quickly came back, scoring three in a row, pushing the margin to 11. White put up two points before McCarty sank a three-point basket to bring the Longhorns within six. The Bruins scored three more jumpers in just over a minute, surging to a 10-point lead, before a lay-up from junior Olamide Aborowa at 24 seconds remaining sealed the second quarter scoring, the Longhorns down by eight, 39-31. Texas ended the first half 13-of-27 in field goals (48.1 percent) and 3-of-4 (75 percent) in free throws.

Texas went on a 7-0 run to start the third quarter, bringing the score to 38-39, with UCLA hanging on to a single-point lead. A steal by sophomore guard/forward Joyner Holmes leading to a Lashann Higgs lay-up at 8:08 gave UT their first lead of the game, fueling the Longhorns’ subsequent momentum. A lay-up from McCarty put the score at 45-42, Texas. However, after enduring a 2:26 scoring drought in the final moments of the period, Texas concluded the third quarter shooting 8-for-18 (44.4 percent) and trailing by 10 points.

In the fourth quarter, Texas and UCLA exchanged baskets back and forth, with the Longhorns unable to overcome the Bruins. Texas outscored UCLA in the fourth, 26-25, but the game ended in the Bruins’ favor, 85-74.

The Longhorns won more than 20 games for the fifth consecutive year, including 24 or more games for the fourth year in a row.