Texas head coach Karen Aston cheers as her team scores against Texas Tech during a Big 12 Conference basketball game at the Frank Erwin Center Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Women's Basketball

With a win over OU, streaking Texas women’s basketball would go so retro

Posted February 17th, 2017

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Story highlights
  • The 19-game winning streak is impressive, yet ranks only tied for 10th-longest in UT women's history.
  • The nine longest win streaks in UT history all came in the 1980s, including the '86 championship season.
  • Texas has won five straight vs. ranked teams, including Baylor and Florida State recently. OU is ranked 19th.

Brianna Taylor says her coach insists that she and her Texas teammates “live in the moment.” Don’t dwell, Karen Aston tells them, or look too far ahead.

That means the only game that counts is Saturday’s road contest against 19th-ranked Oklahoma.

“We’re just looking at the next game as the biggest game,” Taylor said Thursday, before the eighth-ranked Longhorns (21-4, 14-0 Big 12) left for Norman.

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But allow us to cut through the coaching platitudes and provide some context for what a victory on Saturday would mean for the program.

The Longhorns have won 19 straight games. It’s the second longest active streak in the country, behind Connecticut’s massive 100 and counting. It’s also tied for the 10th longest in school history. The Longhorns of 1978-79 won 19 straight during a 37-win season.

Texas head coach Karen Aston, left, is hugged by Brooke McCarty after an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Texas head coach Karen Aston, left, is hugged by Brooke McCarty after an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

But if UT extends the streak to 20, it also would be pretty historic for a program that’s trying to get back to when it was at its most dominant. The last time the team saw a string extend into 20-game territory was 1989.

To even put this year’s group in a conversation with a Longhorns team from the 1980s is significant. That’s when the Texas women were at their most nationally dominant. It’s when Texas reeled off its school-record 40 straight wins from Nov. 29, 1985 through Dec. 9, 1986. The nine longest strings in school history involve the 1980s.

Aston said she’s hesitant to compare this year’s accomplishments with anything other teams have done. So far, there are no milestones — i.e., a regular-season Big 12 title, a conference tournament win, a run through the NCAAs.

“Just because we haven’t won anything yet and we still have so many games to play, it would be difficult to compare it to anything,” Aston said. “I think if we continue to do well and we have some milestone victories, then I think you can talk about some comparisons.

“But right now I think it’s a little early for me to compare this team to any (other) team I’ve had yet.”

Against Oklahoma, the Longhorns are looking to extend a couple of notable streaks while snapping a painful one.

A victory over the Sooners, who are in third place in the Big 12 race, would be UT’s sixth in a row over a ranked team. And it would extend the Longhorns’ Big 12 record to a sparking 15-0.

Texas' Brianna Taylor goes up strong for an offensive rebound against Houston Baptist during first half action at the Erwin Center. The Texas Women's basketball team played a matinee game against Houston Baptist Wednesday afternoon November 16, 2016 with hundreds of AISD elementary school students in attendance. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Texas’ Brianna Taylor goes up strong for an offensive rebound against Houston Baptist during first half action at the Erwin Center. The Texas Women’s basketball team played a matinee game against Houston Baptist Wednesday afternoon November 16, 2016 with hundreds of AISD elementary school students in attendance.
RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

A win also would be a first for Texas in Norman since February 2010. The Sooners rarely struggle at Lloyd Noble Arena. They’ve won eight of their last 10 at home against Texas. A year ago, the Longhorns were ranked sixth nationally when they traveled to Oklahoma. The Sooners won, 74-56, thanks to a 25-2 run in the fourth quarter.

“It’s been awhile since we’ve won in Norman,” Aston said. “That’s our challenge. That’s all we need to be worried about.”

The Sooners have been off for a week since they overcame an 11-point halftime deficit against Texas Tech last Saturday. It was OU’s 20th win of the season. It’s the 15th time a Sherri Coale-coached team has reached 20 wins. The Longhorns beat OU in Austin on Jan. 17, 88-68. That was win No. 11 among the 19.

The Longhorns haven’t played since Monday, when they prevailed in double overtime for win No. 19 over fifth-ranked Florida State. There will be a quick turnaround after Norman, with Texas playing host to Baylor in Austin on Monday night.

The streak will either end in Norman or be on the line against the Bears.

“The pressure is just, it’s fun,” Taylor said. “We haven’t been in this position before in quite a few years, so we’re taking it one day at a time.”

TEXAS’ LONGEST STREAKS

These 19 straight wins have been impressive, yet that winning streak is tied for only the 10th-longest in UT women’s history:

1. 40 straight — 1985-86; UT went 34-0

2. 32 straight — 1981-82; UT went 35-4

3. 31 straight — 1979-80; UT went 33-4

4. 27 straight — 1983-84; UT went 32-3

T5. 25 straight — 1981-82;UT went 35-4

T5. 25 straight — 1982-83;UT went 30-3

7. 24 straight — 1988-89; UT went 27-5

8. 23 straight — 1987-88; UT went 32-3

9. 20 straight — 1984-85; UT went 28-3

T10. 19 straight — 1978-79; UT went 37-4

T10. 19 straight — Present

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