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Basketball: Texas secures another Big 12 win by limiting Ayoka Lee, No. 25 Kansas State

After Wednesday night's 66-48 win over No. 25 Kansas State at the Erwin Center, Texas coach Vic Schaefer was accompanied into his postgame press conference by Joanne Allen-Taylor, Aliyah Matharu and Audrey Warren.

In his opening statement, Schaefer acknowledged that senior center Lauren Ebo probably deserved a spot on the podium, too. And that freshman point guard Rori Harmon "could be up here" as well.

In the end, it probably didn't matter who was sitting next to Schaefer. He had his pick of players to talk about how No. 9 Texas played defense, particularly against the Wildcats' All-American candidate, center Ayoka Lee. 

"I've seen some great defensive efforts over the course of my career, and to see these young ladies go out there and really, in two days, go out and execute like they did tonight on that end, it's just special," Schaefer said. "I just thought our kids were really, really special, one through five, everybody on the floor."

Kansas State center Ayoka Lee goes up for a shot in the second half as Texas' Lauren Ebo defends during the Longhorns' 66-48 win Wednesday night. Lee, who set an NCAA Division I record with a 61-point game last Saturday, was held to 20 points against Texas.

Lee, who was only three days removed from an NCAA Division I-record 61-point game against Oklahoma, finished with a still-impressive line Wednesday of 20 points and 11 rebounds.

On Tuesday, Allen-Taylor suggested that the Longhorns could defend the 6-foot-6 Lee by applying pressure to Kansas State's guards.

On Wednesday night, Texas did just that.

Read more:No. 9 Texas to try to slow No. 25 Kansas State's record-setting scorer, talented freshmen

Using an aggressive full-court press, Texas forced Kansas State into 12 first-half turnovers, turning them into 11 points for a 30-17 halftime lead. More important, those turnovers kept the ball away from Lee.

"I think what they did an excellent job is they kept us out of getting the ball to the wing, and they kept us out of reversing the basketball," Kansas State coach Jeff Mittie said. "If we did have a look for Lee, it wasn't two looks, it wasn't three looks, it was only one look." 

Texas guard Audrey Warren tries to drive past Kansas State's Serena Sundell during the first half. Warren, who came off the bench for the fourth straight game, nearly had a perfect shooting night; she hit her first eight shots.

As Kansas State (15-5, 5-3) fell behind, Lee had only six first-half points. She had attempted seven shots and had only one try from the free-throw line.

When she did touch the ball, she was greeted in the paint by a one-on-one approach that often drew a help defender. Texas started with forward DeYona Gaston guarding Lee, but Ebo stuck with the Kansas State standout for a good portion of the night.

The Ebo-Lee matchup pitted Texas' 6-foot-4 senior against Kansas State's 6-6 junior. Ebo came off the bench but played for more than 26 minutes before fouling out with 3 minutes, 17 seconds left.

"It was a heck of a battle," Schaefer said. "When you're guarding somebody like that, it's all about angles. You have to take away the angles that she wants, and I thought Lauren was right on. She was spot-on most of the night. Ayoka made a couple tough shots now."

Big 12 men's basketball:Texas, Kansas head into season as title favorites

Lee finished with a 9-for-20 shooting performance. She made two of her three free throws (last Saturday against OU, she was 23-for-30 with 15 made free throws.) Lee, who had already played physical teams such as South Carolina and North Carolina State this season, later said that UT's defensive approach wasn't "really anything I didn't expect."

Texas guard Aliyah Mataru, left, and center Lauren Ebo defend as Kansas State guard Brylee Glenn goes up for a shot during the Longhorns' 66-48 win. Texas coach Vic Schaefer praised his team's overall defensive effort.

"I've played against (Ebo) before; I played against her last year," Lee said. "I think for me, it was just about staying low, trying to get position, trying to have that focus every possession."

On offense, Texas was led by Matharu's 18 points. Warren and Allen-Taylor combined for 28.

A starter for much of this season, Warren came off the bench for the fourth straight game. The senior didn't even play in the first quarter. But relying on a smooth baseline jumper, she made her first eight shots and appeared destined for a perfect night from the field before missing a fast-break lay-in in the final minute.

"It was fun hitting every shot," Warren said. "I really didn't even know I was, but I'm just glad my teammates found me."

More:As Big 12 bolsters its reputation, Texas looks for a conference win

Wednesday's win was Texas' fourth straight in the Big 12. With a 15-3 overall record and a 5-2 mark in conference play, Texas sits a half-game behind No. 13 Iowa State and No. 18 Oklahoma in the standings.

Last week, Texas recorded a 66-48 victory at Iowa State. The Longhorns will travel to Oklahoma this weekend.

Tip-ins: Texas ended up forcing 19 Kansas State turnovers. ... Harmon had seven points, six assists and three steals while Kansas State's Serena Sundell finished with 13 points. Harmon and Sundell have each been named the Big 12's freshman of the week three times. ... Wednesday's game drew an announced crowd of 2,281.