The road hasn’t been kind to the Longhorns so far this season. In conference games Texas is 1-4 away from home with losses coming to both Oklahoma schools, Texas Tech and most recently Iowa State. The Longhorns (13-9) will hit the road again in search of what could be a season-saving win at Kansas. At 3-7 in Big 12 play, the Longhorns have a lot to ground to make up if they expect to be among the field in this year’s NCAA Tournament. After losing its last three games, Texas needs a win in Lawrence more now than ever.
Texas will face Kansas (16-6, 5-5 Big 12), a team that defeated the Longhorns 72-67 in Austin in early January. The Jayhawks were led by a 22 point effort from Angel Goodrich that enabled them to win their first conference opener in six years. In total, four Jayhawks scored in double-digits compared to just two Longhorns. Kansas forced 18 Texas turnovers and held the Longhorns to just 3-of-10 shooting from 3-point range.
While the Longhorns struggled to shoot the ball in the first matchup with the Jayhawks, a lot can change in a month. Sophomore guard Chassidy Fussell has continued her scoring barrage and is shooting lights out from beyond the 3-point arc. Fussell leads the team with 15.9 points per Big 12 game. Senior guards Yvonne Anderson and Ashleigh Fontenette have contributed regularly in conference play as well, averaging 11.4 and 11.2 points, respectively. Consistency is what the Longhorns have had issues with down the stretch. If these three players don’t score, the Longhorns have a tough time keeping up with any team, let alone any Big 12 team.
The Jayhawks have a number of players that can fill up a stat sheet, as evidenced by their win over the Longhorns earlier this season. In order for Texas to turn things around, they have to defend well and convert any Kansas mistakes into baskets. The Longhorns have turned the ball over far too many times in recent games and must take care of the ball to stay in this game. In games decided by five points or less this year the Longhorns are 3-2 overall and 2-2 in conference. When games come down to the wire, little things like rebounding and making free throws become paramount, two things the Longhorns have had issues with lately as well. If Texas can fix these things, they’re on their way to a win in Kansas. Be prepared for another close affair, as is the case every game in the Big 12.