Longhorns escape Stillwater behind hot night from Atkins

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Junior guard Ariel Atkins led the Longhorns in scoring with 26 points to push Texas to another victory.

Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

Ariel Atkins stole the show Wednesday night.

The No. 12 Longhorns escaped Stillwater, Oklahoma, with an 85-71 victory over the Cowgirls, largely behind three-point heroics from Atkins and fellow junior guard Brooke McCarty. The duo combined for seven three-pointers to lift the Longhorns to their 15th-straight victory.

Atkins lit up the court for 26 points on 11-of-13 shooting while going a perfect 3–3 from beyond the arc. McCarty, who needed to drain three triples to move into seventh place on Texas’ all-time three-point makes list, surpassed the mark as she connected on four from deep. McCarty finished with 16 points and a game-high eight assists.

Senior center Kelsey Lang notched her seventh double-double of the season in the winning effort with 21 points and 12 boards. Forward Joyner Holmes rounded out the Longhorns in double figures, recording 12 points and 5 rebounds. The freshman had a solid 4–4 night at the free-throw line. 

The Longhorns jumped out to a quick 9-0 run to take advantage in the first quarter. Atkins led the early attack to give Texas a 26-19 lead heading into the second stanza.

After a back-and-forth start to the second quarter, Oklahoma State’s bigs, Kaylee Jensen and Mandy Coleman, changed the momentum in the home team’s favor. The tandem sparked a 10-0 run to give the Cowgirls their first lead of the night, 37-34. 

McCarty drilled a three to even the score at 37, but the second quarter belonged to the red-hot Cowgirls as they carried a 42-39 lead into the half. Coleman and Jensen each recorded 13 points before halftime.

Coleman inked a triple to start the second half, but the Oklahoma State lead didn’t last for long. Coleman and Jensen cooled off late in the game to finish with 22 and 21
points, respectively.

Atkins hit a series of buckets to regain the lead for the Longhorns, 49-48. Texas laid down a 28-point third quarter, entering the final period with a 67-60 lead. 

The burnt orange pulled away in the final quarter while holding the Cowgirls to a mere nine points.

Despite the win, foul trouble haunted the Longhorns — an issue that has plagued them numerous times throughout the season. Six Longhorns finished with three or more fouls.

Texas returns home to host Kansas State on Saturday at 5 p.m with a perfect conference record on the line. The Longhorns sit atop the Big 12 with No. 2 Baylor, each holding 11–0 records in the league.