Texas coach Karen Aston had no fear that the high of beating defending Big 12 champion Baylor on Monday would create a letdown against last-place Kansas.
The 11th-ranked Longhorns (20-4, 14-0) kept their competitive edge against the Jayhawks, ripping Kansas 75-42 to improve their winning streak to 18 games.
Joyner Holmes continued her dazzling freshman season by scoring a team-high 15 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Senior Kelsey Lang anchored a strong frontcourt defense while contributing 10 points and six boards.
No chance for a Baylor hangover.
“The first indication for me was how we approached practice when we came back” from Waco, Aston said. “I feel like we play like we practice, and I didn’t see any type of letdown.”
Texas outclassed Kansas (8-17, 2-12) in every phase of the game, earning advantages of 59-30 in rebounding, 46-8 in points in the paint, 26-3 in second-half points and 30-5 in bench points.
This was a far cry from UT’s 66-54 victory over Kansas last month in Lawrence. In that game, Texas committed a season-high 31 turnovers. On Saturday, the Longhorns had only nine turnovers.
“The Big 12 is a very competitive conference, and you can be beaten by any team on a given night,” junior Brooke McCarty said.
Before the game, Lang and McCarty were recognized for scoring the 1,000th points of their careers. That was a particularly special moment for Lang, who did not arrive at Texas with the same All-America credentials that teammates such as Ariel Atkins and Holmes earned.
“I didn’t know how good a player I could be when I got here,” the 6-foot-5 post said. “The coaches obviously did a great job of helping me realize what I could do.”
Texas blocked a season-high 12 shots, the ninth-highest total in Horns history. Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau was active on defense, blocking five shots, all in the first half.
“I told Audrey at halftime to go get 10 blocks,” Lang said.
Texas outscored Kansas in every quarter, leading 17-10 after one period and 36-18 at halftime.
Everyone wearing burnt orange scored at least two points. Aston emptied her bench in the fourth quarter, and those players took advantage of the playing time. Jordan Hosey tied her season high with eight points. Lashann Higgs scored six points and crashed the boards for seven rebounds. Freshman Jada Underwood had six points and four boards.
“The second piece of our improvement from the last game that we played them is that our young players executed things really well today, and that means that we are growing and we are getting better as a basketball team,” Aston said.
Before the game, former Longhorn Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil had a private discussion with the players in the locker room. She noticed that Holmes wears jersey No. 24, her number when she played for the Longhorns
If Holmes continues to improve, she should join Davis-Wrightsil as one of UT’s all-time greats.
Holmes said she wears No. 24 because her favorite player wears it.
Someone named Kobe.