Texas women’s basketball clears path to Big 12 title after win over OU

DeYona Gaston, Texas women's basketball
DeYona Gaston, Texas women's basketball /

A massive game on Feb. 25 for No. 19 Texas women’s basketball saw head coach Vic Schaefer’s squad come up with the regular season series sweep of the No. 13 Oklahoma Sooners at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. Texas went into the weekend in a tie atop the Big 12 standings with Oklahoma, as each team stood with a record in conference play of 12-3.

While it looked like we were in for a close one in the Red River Rivalry game on the hardwood between the Longhorns and Sooners on Feb. 25, the women in Burnt Orange apparently didn’t see it that way. Texas controlled this game essentially from the second quarter until the very end.

Texas won the final three quarters of the game by a combined margin of 22 points, which was ultimately its margin of victory over the Sooners.

In what turned out to be a pretty sloppy game for both teams by their usual considerations, Texas’ defense came out on top. Texas held the top team in the Big 12 this season in terms of offensive efficiency to just 45 points, while turning them over a whopping 20 times.

Oklahoma was also held to just 27.3 percent shooting from the field and 2-of-14 from beyond the arc. The high-powered offense of the Sooners saw just one player reach double figures.

DeYona Gaston and Shaylee Gonzales lead No. 19 Texas women’s basketball past OU

Meanwhile, Texas got five players into the double figures, including four players in the starting lineup. Leading the way was the trio of sophomore guard Rori Harmon, senior guard Shaylee Gonzales, and junior forward DeYona Gaston.

Harmon gave the Longhorns 14 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds on 7-of-15 shooting from the field. Really the only flaw I could find in Harmon’s game against Oklahoma this weekend was her game-high five turnovers.

Gonzales was solid on both ends of the floor, giving the Longhorns a game-high 19 points and a whopping five steals. This was one of the better games of what has been a great season for Gonzales.

Gaston was another two-way standout for the Longhorns, putting up 12 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks, and two steals.

The fact that Texas got a combined 31 points, 13 rebounds, seven steals, and four blocks out of Gaston and Gonzales is pretty incredible. These two were one of the driving factors that led the Longhorns to nab this convincing 67-45 win over the Sooners on the road on Feb. 25.

The win over Oklahoma also puts Texas directly in the driver’s seat to close out the regular season with the Big 12 crown and the top seed heading into the conference tournament. Gaston and the Longhorns must now close out the regular season with wins over two unranked foes in the Baylor Lady Bears and Kansas State Wildcats.

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Texas is now sporting a record of 22-7 (13-3 Big 12) following the 22-point win over Oklahoma on Feb. 25. The Longhorns have now won two games in a row and nine of its last 10 heading into the home finale on Feb. 27 against Baylor.