Dominant performance keeps Longhorns undefeated

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Photo Credit: Ethan Oblak | Daily Texan Staff

No. 4 Texas shot 52 percent and forced 28 turnovers, both season highs, which helped the Longhorns dominate the New Mexico Lobos, 86-37.

During the first half, Texas went on a 21-0 run and led by 38 points at halftime. This season, the Longhorns still have not allowed an opponent in the Frank Erwin Center to score more than 20 points in the first half.

Texas head coach Karen Aston said she felt the team had an outstanding performance in the opening half because of every player’s contribution. Despite the Longhorns building on their lead in the second half, Aston said the team could have performed better.

“I thought our effort was good; our energy was great; and our defense was fairly connected,” Aston said. “It got a little bit raggedy in the second half, but I do think this was a good performance for our team.”

The Longhorns improved to 6-0 on the year, their first time to open a season with six consecutive wins since the 2008-2009 season.

But from the lineup, Aston selected three upperclassmen and two sophomores to start. Aston said coming off the Tennessee game, upcoming finals and a shaky practice Tuesday, she felt the team needed maturity going against New Mexico.

“I wanted us to be serious about this game,” Aston said. “I went with the players I thought understood maybe a little bit better. You get to a point where you definitely, in some games, you have to know who you trust and who’s going to get you off to a good start [and] that’s nothing against anybody.”

Junior guard Empress Davenport said she thought the team would come out slow because of yesterday’s practice.

“But like coach said, she went with maturity, and we came out of the gates hard, and we just started fast,” Davenport said.

Senior forward Nneka Enemkpali grabbed 10 boards and had 7 points. Junior guard Brady Sanders led the team in scoring with 13 points and five assists. Sanders said she just tries to help the team in any way she can.

“It’s a great experience, but, starting or not starting, I just try to do the little things, bring energy, and those are just the things I try to focus on,” Sanders said.

The team stayed out of foul trouble with only 14 total team fouls, which is the lowest all season. Aston said the team stuck to the game plan of trying not to foul the Lobos often because of their style of play.

“We’re improving a lot, and something that we’ve been focusing on which is cut out the silly fouls and get our discipline better defensively,” Aston said.

The Longhorns return to the Frank Erwin Center on Monday to play the Southern University Jaguars at 11 a.m. The Jaguars are 1-4 this season.