Longhorns prepare for battle against Northwestern State

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Center Kelsey Lang shoots the ball during a matchup with UTSA on Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center. The Longhorns beat the Roadrunners, 90-53, in the team’s season opener.
Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

No. 11 Texas routed Northwestern State 86-33 on Wednesday in front of thousands of screaming elementary and intermediate school students at the Frank Erwin Center.

Children from 48 Central Texas schools trekked to Austin for the annual 40 Acres Field Trip. Before the game, Texas Athletics encouraged the students in attendance to pursue higher education.

“I thought the crowd energized us from the very get,” head coach Karen Aston said. “It’s a special game for our player involvement with the community.”

Texas (2-0) senior center Imani Boyette impressed the kids by scoring eight of her 25 points in the first five minutes of the game. Northwestern State (1-2) freshman forward Emerald Mayfield, who stands at 5 feet 11 inches, proved no match for 6-foot-7 Boyette.

Boyette finished 12-of-13 from the floor while snagging 14 rebounds. Texas outrebounded the opposition 47-18.

Sophomore guard Brooke McCarty came off a career-high 22 points against UTSA to notch 15 on Wednesday with 6-of-11 shooting. Junior guard Brianna Taylor added 11 points off the bench.

Entering the game when Texas led 10-4, Taylor dove into the first row after successfully throwing the ball out of bounds off a Northwestern State player.

On consecutive plays, Taylor drew a charging foul and then banked in a mid-range jumper after securing an offensive rebound. She canned a 3-pointer on the Longhorns’ next trip down the floor, extending Texas’ lead to 15-6.

“My role coming off the bench is to bring energy and help us get going,” Taylor said. “Now, I’m more comfortable in that role. I’m embracing it.”

The Longhorns strung together 26 consecutive points, swelling the lead to 43-11. A Northwestern State free throw with 3:08 remaining in the second quarter ended the Demons’ scoreless streak.

Beginning the second half trailing 49-12, Northwestern State rattled off 8 points in a row, but Boyette got Texas going with a jumper to make it 51-20.

The Texas defense surrendered 15 points in the third quarter — more than it gave up in the first half. The Longhorns tightened up in the final frame, only giving up six.

Both Aston and Boyette, however, said it’s the Texas offense that has been the most impressive in the Longhorns’ first two games.

“It’s always been the narrative about Texas that they can’t score,” Boyette said. “We made a really big focus on that in the offseason, so nobody can say that anymore.”

Boyette needs 8 points to become the 38th player in Texas history to reach 1,000 career points. Texas heads to Houston on Saturday to take on Rice at 2 p.m.