Unranked but tearful Texas women advance to the top of the Big 12

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Longhorns’ fast fall from the pre-season No. 3 all the way down to the unranked standings was one of many largest misses of the faculty girls’s basketball season.

It is nonetheless not so as, nevertheless it’s simple to seek out now. Simply have a look at the highest 12 rankings.

Wednesday night time 78-58 beating No. 14 Oklahoma Longhorn pulled to a Triple tied within the high 12 majors with the Sooners and No. 18 Iowa State.

Texas is now successful over each. The Longhorns are molding right into a group few will need to match as they chase a league title and that all-important alternative to host the primary two rounds of the NCAA Event.

The Texans completed third in scoring within the nation practically 30 factors forward of their common, and below 60 for the primary time in two seasons. The Longhorns (15-6, 6-2) are 14-0 when holding an opponent below 60.

“I do not perceive why Texas wasn’t ranked,” Oklahoma coach Jenny Baranczek mentioned.

Early season accidents and inconsistency simply clarify why.

Sparkplug level guard Rory Harmon missed the primary 5 video games of the season with a toe harm and the Texans misplaced three straight video games, together with top-10 encounters with Yukon and Louisville.

Harmon’s return ought to have stabilized the lineup, however one other blow got here when she misplaced ahead Alia Moore for the season Dec. 13 with a torn knee ligament. Moore was a preseason all-conference choice after posting 18 and 21 consecutive NCAA Event appearances.

Coach Vic Schaefer mentioned the Longhorns struggled to take care of lineup disruptions and a few bumps and bruises.

“I do not suppose we have ever dealt with it properly,” Schaefer mentioned this week earlier than taking part in for Oklahoma. “A part of the athletics is there can be some accidents and the way you reply. We’re not too robust. He is the Achilles of this group. I’ve had some groups prior to now, And their success wasn’t due to how skillful they had been, and their success was due to how sturdy we had been, how aggressive we had been.”

However Schaefer additionally famous that his groups often play higher late within the season. That is actually been the case prior to now couple of years when the Longhorns made back-to-back runs to the Elite Eight and beat Baylor for the Huge 12 Championship in 2022.

“What occurred with Rory earlier this 12 months was simply dangerous luck. We have got her again now, so clearly we’re a little bit completely different in quite a lot of methods together with her level administration,” Schaefer mentioned.

Texas briefly returned to the rankings after dwelling wins over No. 23 Kansas and Iowa State, however rapidly fell after shedding on the street at Texas Tech.

When Baylor joined the unranked this week, It was the primary time within the 47-year historical past of the Related Press ballot that no group from Texas was ranked.

Schaefer has tried to downplay that doubtful distinction, nevertheless it’s a crucial and ominous hurdle to beat heading into the postseason.

The NCAA Ladies’s Championship performs its first two rounds at campus websites. This strongly favors the groups chosen to host and play at dwelling.

Texas has hosted every of the previous two seasons. The Longhorns have loads of floor to make up once more, however successful the Huge 12 title would possible put them within the combine to open the postseason of their new campus enviornment in a single 12 months a Ultimate 4 simply three hours down the street in Dallas.

They’ve the vote of their arch opponent.

“I believe they need to host,” Baranchik mentioned.

Schaefer insists he would not count on that far. Texas subsequent performs Oklahoma State, who beat the Longhorns in Recreation 1.

“I am only a recreation to play. That is all I can do,” Schaefer mentioned. If we do our job, if we do what we will do, we’ll see the place issues find yourself in March.

“Take note of my group. Over the previous 13 seasons, my group has at all times stored getting higher. I believe this group goes to maintain working and getting higher. Once we get to March, we’ll determine all the pieces out,” Schaefer mentioned.


AP Ladies’s School Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball, https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll, https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll / twitter.com / AP_Top25

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