Texas 84, Iowa State 82 (OT): Longhorns win a dogfight, advance in Big 12 Tournament
While speaking to the media Thursday, Vic Schaefer was admittedly angry.
To be specific, the Texas women's basketball coach said he was "a little miffed." The Big 12 had recently announced its all-conference team, and none of the UT guards had been voted onto the all-defensive team.
Texas, after all, led the Big 12 in turnover margin, Schaefer argued. Celeste Taylor's 2.2 steals per game ranked second in the conference.
Schaefer was doing what coaches do. He was defending his players. And one day later, those players defended themselves with their play on both offense and defense.
Led by its guards, Texas outlasted Iowa State 84-82 Friday in overtime in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. Kyra Lambert knocked down six 3-pointers and scored 23 points. Joanne Allen-Taylor put up 20 points at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.
"We talked in the pregame about being a dog in a dogfight and being the big dog, not being a doggone poodle," Schaefer said. "Not being the rug rat, but man, just being the tough, big bulldog."
Texas (18-8) entered Friday's game having made just 124 3-pointers, the second-fewest in the Big 12. But with Iowa State sending double and triple teams to defend All-America candidate Charli Collier in the paint, the Longhorns took advantage of the looks they got around the perimeter.
Texas attempted 34 3-pointers and knocked down 13, which tied for the second-most in program history.
"Rhythm was the biggest thing," said Allen-Taylor, who made four deep shots. "They were so drawn in the paint, and when Charli or somebody kicked it out on the perimeter, you had a lot of space and a lot of time to get your shot off. It felt real natural in the offense."
Texas went into overtime without Collier, who had fouled out with 2 minutes, 54 seconds left in regulation. Starting forward Audrey Warren also missed the game.
Texas, though, survived without two of its top talents. Freshman point guard Ashley Chevalier scored five of her 11 points over the first 71 seconds of overtime. Allen-Taylor drew a charge from Iowa State superstar Ashley Joens, and Lambert recorded a steal. And as Iowa State (16-10) kept the score close with a barrage of 3-pointers, Texas sank enough free throws to secure the victory.
The overtime win came less than two weeks after Texas was beaten at the Erwin Center by Oklahoma in overtime. At one point in that 68-63 loss, UT missed seven straight free throws.
"It's moments like these that really show what we're made of," Lambert said. "We rose to the occasion."
Texas, seeded fifth, won the first Big 12 overtime game since 2014. As a reward, the Longhorns moved on to a semifinal showdown with Baylor on Saturday afternoon. Baylor, the nation's sixth-ranked team and the tournament's top seed, blew out TCU 92-55 Friday.
Texas has lost 24 of its last 25 games against Baylor. This season, the Lady Bears have recorded 60-35 and 64-57 wins.
"We want them again. As soon as that (last game against Baylor) was over, we wanted them again," Lambert said. "Tomorrow's a great opportunity for us. We're going to take what we did today on to tomorrow and continue to build on it. Our team's only going to continue to get better."
Tip-ins: Collier finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. ... Warren and reserve guard Karisma Ortiz were both unavailable for reasons not related to COVID-19 or discipline. Schaefer said neither will play in the Big 12 Tournament. ... Texas forced 18 turnovers and gave the ball away only six times. ... Joens led Iowa State with 28 points. The Cyclones lost three times to Texas this season.