Column: Texas women's basketball can’t let injuries kill its season

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When senior forward Nneka Enemkpali went down with a knee injury, Texas started to struggle. Now, they’re trying to get back on track with a win against rival Oklahoma.
Photo Credit: Ethan Oblak | Daily Texan Staff

Last week, the women’s basketball team’s momentum came to a halt. 

After starting the season in dominating fashion, senior forward Nneka Enemkpali’s injury at Baylor put a stop to the Longhorns’ success. But the situation worsened after an MRI revealed that Enemkpali tore her ACL.

The team will miss Enemkpali’s presence. Before the injury, Enemkpali, a 6-foot-1 forward from Pflugerville, led the Big 12 in rebounds with 10.4 per game, double-doubles and rebounds during conference play. With the help of the forward, Texas started the season 14—0, including wins over three top-10 teams in Stanford, Texas A&M and Tennessee. But since the start of Big 12 play, the Longhorns have struggled. The Longhorns lost four of its past five games, including a loss in the first game without Enemkpali against Iowa State.

While the loss of Enemkpali is huge, the Longhorns can’t afford to let this injury result in a bad season.

Despite losing their starting forward, the Longhorns need to regroup and find a way to replicate their early season success.

Sophomore center Kelsey Lang should be the focal point of that regrouping. Lang is shooting 85 percent from the field and has averaged 12 points per game and seven rebounds during the Longhorns’ past two games. The Longhorns also need the help of junior center Imani McGee-Stafford, who is putting up consistent play despite a low amount of playing time. She leads the Longhorns at the free-throw line, making 13 out of 16 shots from the charity stripe. 

If Texas wants a chance at a postseason run, it can’t afford to take a step back and can’t allow Enempkali’s injury to ruin its season.