The Texas women will find out soon enough if they are making progress toward their goal of becoming a better team than last season. Just not on Wednesday.
Reserve guard Lashann Higgs scored 14 points as the 14th-ranked Longhorns defeated Northwestern State, an opponent that presented little challenge, 86-39 at the Erwin Center.
The Longhorns showed a major asset, depth, as six players scored in double figures. Joyner Holmes and Kelsey Lang scored 12 apiece, and Ariel Atkins had 11.
Texas (2-2) will have a better gauge of its place in the women’s basketball hierarchy after upcoming games against No. 2 Connecticut, No. 3 South Carolina and No. 17 Tennessee.
People around the program believe that coach Karen Aston has assembled sufficient talent to surpass the 2015-16 team that finished 31-5, reaching the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight before losing to eventual champ Connecticut. But Texas already has lost at seventh-ranked Mississippi State and No. 11 Stanford.
By comparison, the Longhorns were 3-0 last November and December against top-15 teams. In 2014-15, when they reached the Sweet 16, the Horns were 3-0 against top-10 teams in early-season non-conference games.
Beatrice Attura led Northwestern State (3-1) with 15 points. She made four 3-point baskets and one three-point play — a layup and free throw.
The game was over by the second quarter, when the Longhorns completed a 30-0 push that began in the first period. Northwestern State failed to score for nearly 12 minutes. The Lady Demons converted just 4 of 20 shots in the half and committed 14 turnovers.
Wing player Jada Underwood, the least heralded of the Longhorns’ three freshmen, scored seven quick points during the 30-0 run. She finished with 10 points.
Khaleann Caron-Goudreau, a 6-4 sophomore who transferred to Texas from Vanderbilt and sat out last season, made her Longhorns debut after missing the first three games with a bruised knee. She played six minutes and grabbed one rebound.
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