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No. 14 Texas knocks off No. 6 Iowa State to remain in Big 12's congested championship chase

Texas guard Joanne Allen-Taylor tries to defend Iowa State's Ashley Joens as she catches a pass near the basket during the first half of Texas' 73-48 win Wednesday night.

After going on a few runs Wednesday night, Texas remained in the Big 12 race.

Two Texas scoring spurts — a 15-2 run in the first quarter and a 14-0 sprint in the third — paced No. 14 Texas in a 73-48 win over No. 6 Iowa State at the Erwin Center. The 25-point triumph was recorded four days after Texas beat Oklahoma, which was No. 12 at the time, by 15.

Following Wednesday's win, Texas (18-6, 8-5 Big 12) remained in fifth place in the Big 12 standings. Iowa State (21-4, 10-3) and Baylor (20-5, 10-3) are now the conference co-leaders. Oklahoma (20-5, 9-4) and Kansas (18-5, 9-4) are also contending.

The Longhorns have five games left to catch the four teams ahead of them. And when asked if she believes UT is still in the mix, freshman Rori Harmon replied "of course I do. I have so much confidence in this team."

More:NCAA seeding a topic as Texas hits regular season's home stretch

Harmon led the way for Texas, scoring 20 points and adding nine assists, six rebounds and six steals. During the 15-2 first-quarter run, she scored five points and distributed four assists. That outburst sparked a UT offense that missed its first eight shots. With that run, the Longhorns turned a 4-0 deficit into a 15-6 lead.

Up 31-26 at halftime, Texas distanced itself from the Cyclones in the third quarter. Harmon and Audrey Warren combined for 11 points during a 14-0 run that extended the lead to 49-30.

"I don't really look at the scoreboard too much, but I can feel the momentum," Harmon said of the runs. "I can see what's happening. I'm paying attention to what's going on in the game. I can tell that we're getting stops and we're scoring, we're getting stops and we're scoring."

Texas ended up knocking down half its shots and half its 3-point attempts. The Longhorns committed 10 turnovers — the team was averaging 15.4 — and head coach Vic Schaefer was sure to point out that taking care of the ball led to Texas getting 22 more shots than Iowa State.

"I'm gonna be using that as my sermon every day because the proof's in the pudding," Schaefer said.

Photos:Texas women's basketball defeats Iowa State at home 73-48

Iowa State committed 19 turnovers. The Cyclones are No. 3 nationally in made 3-pointers, and had hit 19 threes in their last game. But Wednesday night, they were 4-for-12 from deep.

With an 18-point performance, Iowa State senior Ashley Joens became her school's all-time leading scorer. She was 5-for-10 from the field. Checked throughout the night by Warren, Joens attempted only three shots in the first half.

"It's pretty much become the norm in our league. You just beat Ashley Joens up. That's what you do," Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. "You beat her up and you double-team her. That's kind of the model."

Golden:Audrey Warren still doing whatever it takes to help Longhorns win

In addition to her defense on Joens, Warren contributed 16 points and four steals to the winning effort. That performance led to her third straight appearance at UT's postgame press conference.

Last week, Warren scored 12 points at Texas Tech and matched her career high with a 21-point game against Oklahoma. Texas won both contests with Warren also drawing defensive assignments against All-Big 12 candidates Vivian Gray and Taylor Robertson. Those showings led Schaefer to complain on Wednesday that Baylor's NaLyssa Smith won the most-recent Big 12 player of the week award over Warren.

"I'm a little peeved about it," he said.

Before this three-game stretch, Warren struggled in two outings against Baylor. After the Longhorns lost twice in a three-game span to the Bears, Schaefer told the versatile Warren that "you need to play better. Our team is not going to win if you're not playing well."

"I think it's really just the coaches getting into me and really making me realize that I have to play well in order to help the team win," Warren said. "I think I've disappointed myself in a few games where I feel like I didn't do a lot to help the team and I needed to change that quick. That's what I did."

Tip-ins: The Longhorns have now won five straight games against Iowa State. ... Fennelly was issued a technical in the third quarter. ... Harmon became the seventh Texas freshman to record 100 assists in a season. ... Texas will travel to West Virginia (11-12, 4-9) on Sunday.