Texas Rellah Boothe (33) and Louisiana Tech Reauna Cleaver (23) loose control of the ball as the battle for a rebound during the first half of NCAA college basketball game, Thursday Nov.30,2017, in AUSTIN, Texas. (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN Photo/Rodolfo Gonzalez)

No. 2 Texas keeps rolling, stomps past Louisiana Tech 88-54

Posted November 30th, 2017

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Unbeaten and untested, Texas keeps rolling with the top-ranked offense in women’s basketball.

Brooke McCarty scored 15 points and Lashann Higgs chipped in 13 as the No. 2-ranked Longhorns trounced Louisiana Tech 88-54 Thursday night at the Erwin Center.

Coach Karen Aston shuffled players freely against the overmatched Lady Techsters. McCarty was the most impressive offensive player, hitting her first six shots from the field, three behind the arc. She also had five assists and five steals.

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“You can see a whole different level of confidence in everyone on our team,” McCarty said. “Our inside people can shoot outside too.”

As a team, UT’s strength is an offense that has made significant strides through these first four weeks, averaging 98.4 points a game — tops in the country. By contrast, Texas ranked 29th in with an average of 74 points a game last season.

Texas (6-0) dominated the first half, taking a 50-26 lead at the break.

Texas junior Olamide Aborawa finished with a career-high 11 points while collecting seven rebounds. Texas outrebounded Louisiana Tech 49-33.

Aston said she was impressed by her team’s 25 assists, including seven by senior Ariel Atkins. Atkins, McCarty and sophomore Sug Sutton dictated tempo with unselfish passing. Sutton played one of the best games of her young career, contributing 10 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

“You can impact a game without taking a shot,” Aston said.

As for Sutton, she finally feels completely healthy after tearing ligaments in her left knee during her senior year of high school.

“I was never fully confident when I came into a game (as a freshman),” Sutton said. “Not playing to my full potential. … I hadn’t played for a while after the ACL injury and I didn’t have the experience. I was a little shaky at times.”

Louisiana Tech (4-3) was led by guard Taylor Stahly, who had 13 points and Maria Delgado, who had 10. Coach Brooke Stoehr credited Texas for its “inside-outside” offense, adding the Longhorns are shooting well from the perimeter.

Stoehr added that her team’s 22 turnovers were critical, saying, “We have to learn to value each and every offensive possession.”

At halftime, UT legends Jody Conradt and Nell Fortner spoke to the crowd about their favorite memories of the fabled arena, celebrating its 40th anniversary this week. Conradt described the Erwin Center as a “magic building” and reminded fans the first event was a women’s basketball game against Temple Junior College.

With Thursday’s victory, the Longhorns have a career record of 515-98 at the Erwin Center. The Longhorns improved their career record against Louisiana Tech to 9-2.

UT’s next game will be at unranked Georgia at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Notes: Junior forward Jordan Hosey made the first start of her career. … Junor Khaleann Caron Goudreau (sprained ankle) and sophomore Jada Underwood (migraine) did not play. … Texas had a 22-4 edge in bench points, 29-9 in points off turnovers, and 46-22 in the paint. … For the first time this season, junior post Jatarie White was not in the starting lineup in both halves. It was a “coach’s decision,” Aston said.

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