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Photo Credit: Sarah Montgomery | Daily Texan Staff

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Despite a sloppy first 30 minutes, the Longhorns lead the Jayhawks, 13-0 at half-time in Lawrence, Kan.

Texas fumbled a snap, turned the ball over on downs and had a three-and-out on three of its first four possessions, but managed to capitalize on good field position on a couple occasions, resulting in the half-time lead.

Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes didn’t get off to one of the hot starts he’s been accustomed too, but he avoided making any major errors in the passing game. He finished the half 10 of 18 for 108 yards and a touchdown. Swoopes also ran it into the endzone for Texas’ second score, his first rushing touchdown of the season.

Texas’ running back tandem of senior Malcolm Brown and junior Johnathan Gray failed to get any momentum going, combining for just 57 yards on 17 carries. 

Defensively, the Longhorns were solid and came up with a few timely interceptions to keep Kansas off the scoreboard.

Senior defensive back Quandre Diggs picked off Jayhawk quarterback Montell Cozart in the endzone in the first quarter and junior Duke Thomas came up with a couple key interceptions in the second quarter.

The kicking game continues to be a sore spot for Texas, as kicker Nick Rose missed an extra-point attempt and had his second quarter field goal attempt blocked.

Kansas will receive the kickoff to open the second half.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Kansas freshman guard Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points and six rebounds against Texas on Saturday. Wiggins upped his offensive production after scoring just seven in Austin on Feb. 1. 

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

LAWRENCE, Kan. — It didn’t take long for the blue and white wave to hit Texas. And, when it did, the swell proved too much to handle.

Led by freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins, the Jayhawks blitzed the Longhorns in the first half. A 25-2 run quickly erased an early 8-3 Longhorns lead, much like Wiggins’ play Saturday evening removed any doubts stemming from his 7-point performance earlier in the year against Texas.

Wiggins, who finished with a team-high 21 points, played a huge role in Kansas’ run. He scored 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting during the stretch and did so in convincing fashion. Wiggins connected on all three of his attempts from behind the arc and added a pair of authoritative dunks over the six-minute scoring binge.

“When I score early, it brings more confidence to my game,” Wiggins, who is projected to be a top-three pick in the upcoming NBA drafft, said. “My teammates got me the ball where I like to shoot the ball, where I needed it. I was fired up for this game.”

Wiggins’ first slam was of the two-handed variety: a dunk so ferocious it produced a deafening roar from the crowd that appeared to coax the Longhorns’ ensuing timeout. From that point forward, Texas didn’t find much success on either end of the floor.

“[With] one or two possessions, you can be down by six, eight, and [then] the game’s over just like that,” junior forward Jonathan Holmes said. “The effort was nonexistent. We tried a little at the beginning and we got some adversity and didn’t come back and fight.”

The one-sided final did not result only from Wiggins’ performance, but it played a significant role in the final outcome. The 6-foot-8 forward proved to be a huge mismatch for the Longhorns, a team without a true small forward capable of matching his blend of size and athletic ability. Texas head coach Rick Barnes searched for a solution in a mix of zone and man defense that put 6-foot-2 Demarcus Holland guarding Wiggins.

Neither matchup was successful for Texas on Saturday, as Wiggins picked apart both looks. Against the zone, Wiggins showed a deft touch from the outside, converting on 3-of-5 3-point attempts. And, when he faced man coverage, he moved to the basket for dunks and layups with ease.

Texas wanted this game, but, according to Barnes, it didn’t show the mental fortitude to win in a hostile road environment. Kansas had no such problem. Following its early loss to Texas, the Jayhawks had an extra motivation at stake.

“Our pride,” Wiggins said. “We got embarrassed [against Texas the first time] so we wanted to do the same thing to them. Take it to them and win every minute, every second on the court.”

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

LAWRENCE, KAN.  The constant pressure of a raucous Kansas crowd at Allen Fieldhouse proved to be too much for Texas’ inexperienced lineup on Saturday.

Nine Longhorn underclassmen combined for just 37 points on just 28 percent shooting, as Kansas soared past the Longhorns, 85-54, in Lawrence, Kan.

“We haven’t responded on the road the way we need to,” said Texas head coach Rick Barnes, whose team has now lost three straight away from the Frank Erwin Center. “It goes back to execution, mental toughness and consistency and we haven’t done those things.”

Nobody looked more rattled by the Jayhawk faithful than freshman standout Isaiah Taylor, who was playing in his first game at The Phog. Taylor missed his first 11 field goal attempts and finished with more turnovers (2) than field goals (1).

“Isaiah [Taylor] missed some shots early,” Barnes said. “But what really surprised me is that he didn’t do what we needed him to do offensively. They would deny him at the top and he would just give the ball up and stand there. He needs to learn how to play without the ball.”

Sophomore center Cameron Ridley also struggled mightily in the contest, obviously hampered by Jayhawk freshman Joel Embiid’s interior defense. Embiid had six blocks and Ridley, who failed to record his first points of the game until the 13:29 mark of the second, scored the majority of his 11 points after the projected first overall pick had left the game.

“Coming into this game I had a different mindset,” Embiid said. “I just wanted to come in and show what I could do and I feel like I did that.”

Embiid’s six swats gave him 63 on the season, setting a new freshman record at Kansas.

“Breaking the record is a great accomplishment for me,” Embiid said.

The Longhorns held their own in the game’s early stages, getting out to an 8-3 lead in the first four minutes. But it was all Kansas from there, as the Jayhawks went on a 25-2 run and lead 46 – 18 after 20 minutes.

Kansas’ first half run was led by superstar freshman Andrew Wiggins, who had 15 in the opening frame, including eight points on three consecutive possessions. After throwing down an alley-oop slam, Wiggins hit back-to-back threes and sent the sellout crowd into a frenzy. The Canadian native finished with 21 points and six rebounds.

“I was fired up for this game,” Wiggins said. “When I score early it brings more confidence to my game. My teammates got me the ball where I like to shoot the ball, where I needed it, and that got me going.”

Junior forward Jonathan Holmes was the lone bright spot for Texas. Holmes made seven of his 11 field goal attempts en route to a 17-point, six-rebound performance. 

Photo Credit: Joe Capraro | Daily Texan Staff

Texas women’s soccer will hit the road to play West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., and Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., coming off its first Big 12 Conference wins at home last weekend.

Texas beat TCU on Friday and Iowa State on Sunday to improve to an 8-3-1 record on the season, marking a four game winning streak. The team’s last loss came on the road to Colorado

Since the loss, Texas has outscored its opponents 11-1 and so far this season it has seen 11 different players ranging from freshman forwards to the sophomore goalkeeper score a goal and 16 players record either an assist or goal.

“It takes a little bit of pressure off of each player and it certainly makes it hard to defend us,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “We’re going to need to be battle tested and we’re going to need every single one of us to be plugged in.”

Of the 11 players who scored, six have scored multiple goals. In 2012, only nine different players scored for the entire season. Sophomore forward Kelsey Shimmick and junior defender Brooke Gilbert lead the team with four goals apiece, followed by sophomore midfielder Chantale Campbell with three. 

The Mountaineers hold an 8-2-2 record and also head into the matchup on a four-game winning streak and an undefeated mark in Big 12 play, having beat Oklahoma State and Baylor in their last outings. The win against Baylor broke up a 31-game win streak for the Bears. Since joining the conference last year, West Virginia has yet to lose a Big 12 regular
season game.

“I’ve competed against West Virginia my whole career, especially at Tennessee and I have a ton of respect for their coaching staff and for their style of play,” Kelly said after the Iowa State win. “It’s a great environment in Morgantown. This is like an NCAA first or second round game to me. We’re ultimately here to win championships, so we need a little bit of that seasoning and we’re going to get it.”

Kansas will play TCU at home Sunday after taking on Texas on Friday. Going into the weekend, the Jayhawks have a 5-5-1 record, and are coming off a loss to Santa Clara. The Jawhawks will open conference play against the teams from Texas.

“It’s one game at time,” Kelly said. “It’s still very early in the conference season and we can’t ever look past an opponent and we’ve been taking it one game at a time.”

Texas point guard Myck Kabongo drives through Kansas' Kevin Young and Jeff Withey in the first half.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Texas has struggled all season long but reached a few new lows in its loss to Kansas this weekend. The Longhorns shot 21.8 percent from the floor, their worst mark in Big 12 play. The previous worst shooting percentage in Big 12 play was 30 percent, which is what Texas shot in a 83-60 loss to Colorado Mar. 1, 2007.

Texas also recorded only three assists in the loss, its fewest ever in Big 12 play, breaking the mark set by the Longhorns when they had just four assists in a 80-67 loss to Nebraska on Jan. 13, 2001. They committed 16 turnovers Saturday.

"When we had our opportunities, we didn't get anything done," Barnes said. "Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn't. I guess you could say, over the course of the game, it evens out. But when you're trying to do specific things and it doesn't happen, it's tough. You've got to give Kansas all the credit. At the rim, they're going to challenge."

The Longhorns' 43 points tied their fewest in a Big 12 contest, matching the 43 points they scored in a 46-43 loss to Texas A&M on Mar. 1, 2006. The 15 points Texas scored in the first half against Kansas on Saturday tied the fewest points it scored in a half in Big 12 play, a mark also set in the aforementioned lost to the Aggies. 

Texas also lost its school-record seventh straight road game in Big 12 play Saturday. The Longhorns fell in their last trip to Allen Fieldhouse, 73-63, on Mar. 3, 2012, their last road game of the season and have since dropped each of their six road games in conference play this year. 

The 26-point loss Texas suffered this weekend was tied for the most lopsided loss in Big 12 play under Barnes -- a mark set by the Longhorns just 17 days ago, when they were dominated by Kansas State in a 83-57 loss Jan. 30.  

Black uniforms once again doom Texas

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- You would think Texas would have learned wearing black jerseys wasn't such a good idea last time around. 

The Longhorns were dressed in all-black uniforms for their game against Kansas this weekend, the first time they did so since they were crushed by top-ranked Duke, 97-66, on Dec. 10, 2005. Texas didn't fare much better in the black jerseys Saturday, getting blown out by a far superior Kansas squad, 73-47, at Allen Fieldhouse. 

Former Longhorn Chris Mihm's blocks record falls in loss

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Jeff Withey blocked two shots in the blowout win over Texas on Saturday, breaking former Longhorn Chris Mihm's record for most career blocks. Mihm had 265 in four seasons at Texas and Withey now has 266. 

"It means something to me," Withey said. "I put a lot of hard work into getting it. I have a lot more games to play so hopefully I can put some distance on it and make sure it doesn't get touched for 20-something years."

Withey scored 15 points and 11 rebounds while recording four steals and his ninth double-double this season. 

Freshman Sara Hattis tries to defend against Kansas Wednesday night in Lawrence. The Longhorns couldn't keep up with the Jayhawks, fell 76-38 to hit 0-7 in the Big 12. 

(Photo courtesy of Kansas Athletics)

Another game down and another loss for the struggling Longhorns.

The Kansas Jayhawks handed the Longhorns a 76-38 defeat in Lawrence, Kan., on Wednesday night, dropping Texas to 0-7 in the Big 12. With the Longhorns undermanned with their two leading scorers, Nneka Enemkpali and Chassidy Fussell, out for violation of team rules, Texas struggled to do anything right.

Kansas began the game on a 10-2 run, sinking shot after shot against a slow Texas defense. The Jayhawks (12-5, 3-3) finished the half on a 25-3 run to take a 46-12 lead into halftime.

Texas’ 12 points was the lowest first-half scoring output in school history. Their 17 turnovers did nothing to help the Longhorns as the Jayhawks scored 20 of their 46 points off turnovers.

Although Texas had a couple of scoring runs in the second half, it was much the same as the Jayhawks finished the game shooting 50.9 percent, including 47.6 percent from the three-point line, while blanketing the inexperienced Texas lineup.

Freshman Imani McGee-Stafford was forced to play big minutes due to Enemkpali’s absence, registering eight points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes of play. Senior Nadia Taylor played a career-high 18 minutes and scored a career-high eight points.

Even with the suspension of two key players, the Longhorns continued their inconsistent play. Texas outrebounded Kansas 39-36 but shot 27.3 percent from the field with 28 total turnovers.

Whether it’s inexperience or simply a lack of focus for the Longhorns, something needs to be changed sooner rather than later.

“Until we can learn to be disciplined together and do this thing together, then we’re going to continue to have disappointments in the Big 12 because it is too balanced as a league,” head coach Karen Aston said following last weekend’s game against Oklahoma. 

Texas will continue its search for a conference win when it hosts Kansas State on Saturday afternoon at the Frank Erwin Center.

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist throws against Oklahoma in the second quarter of a game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 20. Crist has been largely ineffective this season and now redshirt freshman Michael Cummings has assumed the starting role.
Photo Credit: The Associated Press

The quarterback situation in Lawrence, Kan. seems gravely familiar: a five-star high school prospect flops at the collegiate level before deciding to transfer to salvage his career.

At the beginning of this season, senior transfer Dayne Crist was a dark horse in some analysts’ Heisman talk, with 85-1 odds for the award. Seven games into the season and Crist has already been relegated to the backup position, giving way to redshirt freshman Michael Cummings to try and turn around the Jayhawks’ 1-6 season.

“We’re going to start Michael and we’ll see how it goes,” head coach Charlie Weis said. “I think that, at this point when you’re 1-6 and things haven’t gone real well, I think you owe it to your team to see what you have.”

Last weekend in a 52-7 loss to Oklahoma, Cummings started the game but Crist saw ample playing time. However, after the loss Cummings was given the reins full time to try and jump-start the program.

Crist started his college career at Notre Dame in 2008 where Weiss had recruited him to play before he left for a coaching position with the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2009 season. After sitting out in 2008, Crist had a minor contribution in 2009 as the backup to Jimmy Clausen.

In 2010, he was named the starting quarterback where he threw for over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. However, a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee ended his season. In 2011, he was given another opportunity to start, however, midway through Notre Dame’s season opener he was replaced by Tommy Rees.

At the end of 2011, Crist decided to transfer to Wisconsin before Weis convinced him to come to Kansas instead. Weis had just been named the head coach of the Jayhawks after serving as Florida’s offensive coordinator for a season.

His transfer to Kansas was supposed to be a fresh start for both Crist and the Jayhawks. Crist was healthy and playing for a coach who had a history of developing quarterbacks for the NFL. Kansas was also in desperate need of a quarterback after Kansas only won two games in 2011, both against non-conference opponents.

So far this season, Crist has amassed negative 72 yards rushing and 1,101 yards in the air. He is 91-for-184 which translates to a 49.5 competition percentage. He has a staggering seven interceptions with only three touchdowns so far this season. His quarterback efficiency rating? An unimpressive 98. 

“The season is not over yet, but I think that right now he’s disappointed,” Weis said about Crist. “I’m disappointed and we’re both disappointed ... if the status quo doesn’t show any improvement, then you have to find some way to make improvements and this is one of the ways.”

Last season, Texas shut-out Kansas 43-0 in Austin. Kansas went on to a 2-10 season and finished winless in the Big 12. This season has proven to be no
better. Kansas is sitting at a 1-6 record, again without a win in the Big 12.

Printed on Friday, October 26, 2012 as: Crist relinquishes starting role as Cummings rises

Outfield Mark Payton bats against Texas Tech in last weekendÂ’s series. Payton and the Longhorns begin a three-game trip to Kansas tonight.

Photo Credit: Corey Leamon | Daily Texan Staff

Swirling winds, wintry temperatures and possible thunderstorms await No. 7 Texas tonight in game one of its three-game series against the Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kan.

According to head coach Augie Garrido and just about every other warm-blooded Longhorn, the weekend conditions will be cold, numbing and miserable.

But enjoyable?

Chicago native Mark Payton thinks so, and he’s definitely in the minority.

“With the weather like that, it’s going to be fun,” said the freshman right fielder. “In high school, I used to play in the snow. I know some of my teammates have never even seen snow, so that’ll be new to them.”

Payton likens the probable conditions at Kansas’ Hoglund Ballpark to a frozen tundra best suited for the Bears or the Packers of the NFL.

“This will be like northern football weather. We just have to be tough,” he said.

Texas does have some experience playing in inclement weather this year. A weekend series at Oklahoma State in late March saw temperatures that stayed in the 40s. The team didn’t fare very well, dropping two of three games to the

“It was cold when we went to Oklahoma State, and we had a little trouble with that,” said freshman Erich Weiss. “But hopefully that will help us prepare for this weekend.”

In 2009, when the Longhorns last played in Lawrence, temperatures hovered around 60 degrees, and Texas was swept in three games. This weekend will be much colder — The Weather Channel projects lows in the 40s — with high chances of rain and winds that may gust up to 20 mph.

“It’s going to be cold, and it’s going to be raining,” Garrido said. “Kansas always plays us tough up there. We will have to battle it out. One nice thing is they’re the only team with a lower batting average than us.”

Texas has struggled all season to consistently hit the ball, with a collective batting average of .258, while the Jayhawks’ average is a shade lower at .251.

The Longhorns’ bats have been especially cold lately, averaging just 3.25 runs and 5.25 hits the past four games.

“We have to keep playing our game. We’ve been hitting balls well, but they’re going right to the opposing position players,” Weiss said. “We have to keep hitting, and those balls will drop in for us.”

Until they do, Texas (28-9, 11-4 Big 12) will keep relying on its pitching staff. Led by tonight’s starter Taylor Jungmann, the Longhorns boast a combined 2.32 ERA, one of the best in the nation. Against the weak-hitting Jayhawks (19-18, 8-7), it could end up being the difference.

Then again, when you’re playing out of your element in such miserable conditions, it’s wise to throw any preconceived advantages out the window.

“Whoever is tougher is going to win,” Payton said. “Nothing else matters. We just have to try and not let the cold get to us.” 

The women’s tennis team gained two conference victories this weekend against the Kansas (6-0) and Kansas State (5-2).

The Longhorns traveled to Lawrence, Kan., on Friday for their first opponent, K-State. Senior Amanda Craddock and freshmen Cierra Gaytan-Leach began the event by beating K-State’s Petra Niedermayerova and Nina Sertic 8-4. Junior Krista Damico and sophomore Aeriel Ellis then sealed the doubles points for UT by winning 8-6 against Antea Huljev and Karla Bonacic for the Wildcats.

Seniors Caroline Larsson and Maggie Mellow had key singles wins over Carmen Borau Ramos and Bonacic. Craddock sealed the victory with a triumph over Ana Gomez Aleman.

Juliana Gajic also prevailed over Sertic during fifth singles.

The Longhorns remained in Lawrence, Kan., for March 26, when they trounced Kansas 6-0.

Damico and Ellis teamed up to beat Erin Wilbert and Sara Lazarevic for the Jawhawks 8-3. Gajic and Mello then prevailed 8-6 over Monica Pezzotti and Paulina Los for Kansas, securing the doubles point for UT.

Mello had another win against Lazarevic during her singles play, and Damico beat Pezzotti to expand the Longhorns’ lead. Larsson sealed the victory for Texas when she beat Wilbert at fifth singles.

Craddock and Ellis secured the shutout, beating the Jayhawks’ Los and Ekaterina Morozova during singles play.

The Longhorns’ next Big 12 Conference event is scheduled for Friday, April 1, against Texas Tech in Lubbock.