Iowa State

Photo Credit: Angela Wang | Daily Texan Staff

Lashann Higgs couldn’t quite perfect her form.

Prior to No. 6 Texas’ 72-59 victory over Iowa State on Saturday, the junior guard had made just one 3-pointer in February. Her 14-point performance in an 87-55 home win over Iowa State on Jan. 27 was the last time she had scored double digits in a game.

Unsure of what was going wrong, she sought help from her coaches.

“Lashann is just one of our players that looks for help or instruction and constructive criticism to get better,” Texas associate head coach Tina Thompson said. “Especially at this time during the year, or because we have time limits, you can’t make them get in the gym. It has to be something that they want to do.”

Higgs was shooting around with Thompson before a practice on Feb. 9 at Denton A. Cooley Pavilion. Thompson wanted Higgs to catch the ball, dip and elevate for her shot in a single, fluid motion.

Higgs was a bit jerky — she kept raising her arms a split second after extending her legs during the jump. The delay threw her shot off.

“Just go down and up,” Thompson said, before passing the ball back to Higgs. “Down and up.”

Higgs has been dealing with ups and downs all season. She shot just 21.7 percent from deep during her sophomore season but has improved to 33.3 percent this year. She’s made three times as many treys.

The downs have been more common this month, though, especially on the offensive end. Before Saturday’s game, Higgs had made just one of her last seven shots from outside.

With two games left in the season, Higgs knew she didn’t have much time to figure things out. She finally turned things around in Ames, Iowa.

Late in the first quarter, junior center Jatarie White caught the ball in the middle of the floor and squared up with the basket. She noticed Higgs’ defender sagging off to help and kicked the ball to Higgs in the left corner. Higgs dipped, elevated and nailed the triple in a single, fluid motion.

She sank another with 6:16 remaining in the fourth quarter. Sophomore guard Alecia Sutton used an in-and-out crossover to get past her man and penetrate into the paint. Higgs’ defender sagged off again, and Sutton found her open on the right wing. Higgs knocked down the three, bringing her point total up to 12 and ending a seven-game single-digit point streak.

“The way (Higgs) scores is kind of, probably, different than any player in the country,” Thompson said. “She’s able to just use her genetic ability to kind of create things or make things happen that are pretty abnormal for most of us.”

Higgs finished Saturday’s game with 14 points, four rebounds, five assists and one steal. Texas (23–5, 14–3 Big 12) will need her to remain consistent on both ends of the floor as the team enters the postseason.

She’s also thrived as the team’s defensive stopper all year, averaging 1.6 steals per game.

“That’s the only way you can test yourself to see how good of a defender you really are,” Higgs said. “(I enjoy) guarding the best player.”

Senior guards Ariel Atkins and Brooke McCarty combined for 33 points and 15 rebounds against Iowa State, including a career-high 11 rebounds from McCarty. The pair look to close out their final season with a higher sense of urgency.

The Longhorns conclude their regular season against Oklahoma on Tuesday. Tipoff for senior night is set for 6 p.m.

Photo Credit: Brooke Crim | Daily Texan Staff

Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau walked into the Frank Erwin Center on Friday determined to figure out what went wrong.

The senior forward and her team were still licking their wounds from an 81-56 mauling at the hands of No. 3 Baylor on Thursday night — Texas’ worst loss since 2016.

Now the Longhorns faced a short turnaround as they were set to host Iowa State on Saturday at 7 p.m. But instead of drilling her team with a tough day of practice and yelling, head coach Karen Aston sent them to the film room.

What Caron-Goudreau saw was eye opening.

“(Our) energy and connectivity between players wasn’t there during the Baylor game,” Caron-Goudreau said. “But we didn’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves. We just had to go to sleep early and go back to work the next day.”

Caron-Goudreau walked into the Erwin Center on Saturday with one thing on her mind – beating Iowa State. That mindset translated into an 87-55 thrashing of the Cyclones on Saturday night — the largest win-margin for Texas in the history of the two teams’ series.

Iowa State came out with some intensity of its own to start, as senior guard Emily Durr torched the Longhorns for the first nine Cyclone points of the game.

With Texas scrambling for an answer, Ariel Atkins delivered. The senior guard countered by nailing a mid-range jumper and sinking a corner three as the Longhorns trailed, 12-11, with 3:08 left in the first quarter.

Texas followed Atkins’ lead, clawing its way to an 18-17 advantage at the break.

“Iowa State is hard to guard,” Aston said. “I thought that after the first quarter we did a pretty good job of adjusting.”

The Cyclones didn’t budge in the second quarter, battling the Longhorns to reclaim a 29-28 lead with 4:19 left before halftime.

Texas dug deep, calling sophomore forward Joyner Holmes off the bench for a source of offense in the paint. Holmes made the most of her seven minutes, exploding for six points and four rebounds in the quarter.

Iowa State had no answer for the Longhorns’ attack as Texas ended the quarter on an 11-1 run to take a 39-30 lead at the half.

“I think it was just about recognizing our matchups,” Holmes said. “They had some smalls on us, and so I just took advantage of the matchup and tried to score inside the paint.”

The Longhorns went for the knockout at the start of the third quarter, suffocating the Cyclones with a full-court press that resulted in three turnovers and a 14-0 Texas run.

Caron-Goudreau finally broke free, feasting off an Iowa State defense that looked feeble in the paint. The 6-foot-4 senior put on a clinic, scoring 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting as Texas took a commanding 66-44 lead into the fourth quarter.

“It was definitely different from the Baylor game,” Caron-Goudreau said. “I feel like we were able to pass it more to the post. It was just a different game.”

The fourth quarter saw no change as Texas placed the finishing touches on a dominant 32-point win. Atkins led the way with a team-high 15 points on an efficient 6-for-8 performance. Caron-Goudreau kept pace, posting 12 points to go with a pair of rebounds.

The victory gives Texas (16–4, 7–2 Big 12) some momentum as the Longhorns must now hit the road for a showdown against Kansas on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: Anthony Mireles | Daily Texan Staff

Less than two minutes into the game, junior guard Kerwin Roach II pulled up from beyond the arc at the Frank Erwin Center. 

Bucket. 

Then he launched another triple. Bucket. 

His next two threes? Both buckets.

Roach’s offensive surge has given the Longhorns a spark in both of the past two home games now. On Monday night, Roach bolstered Texas’ 73-57 win over Iowa State. 

Entering the matchup as a 29.5 percent 3-point shooter, Roach’s immaculate 4-of-4 shooting from deep in the first half lifted Texas to one of its best offensive showings of the season. Surprisingly, Roach’s recent breakthrough simultaneously lines up with his return from a fractured left hand.

“I’m a junior, so I’ve been playing the game for a while,” Roach said. “Just being out just burned that fire into me. The time I spent off, I did a lot of form shooting and got my mechanics together — just slowed down and took my time during my shots.”

The junior guard tied his career high with 22 points, but Texas was blessed with a second star on the offensive end — Mo Bamba. 

The freshman forward splashed onto the scene Monday by sinking a spot-up three and slamming multiple authoritative dunks over the Cyclones’ defense. Bamba posted a career-high 24 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in his strongest game at Texas.

“His motor has really improved,” head coach Shaka Smart said. “He’s really responded better and quicker, when before, it just took him longer. I thought tonight was about as clean of a game as he’s played in terms of efficiency.”

Iowa State’s offense gathered some momentum in the second half and managed to strike as close as six points. But before the Cyclones could turn the corner, Bamba’s scoring swung the game back in the Longhorns’ favor. The future lottery pick nailed 9-of-11 shots on the night and refused to allow any easy baskets on the defensive end.

Texas relied on its defense in the closing moments. The Longhorns didn’t score a single point from the 6:24 mark until just 1:03 remained in the game. But the Cyclones hit a skid of their own, going scoreless over the last four minutes and 10 seconds. The final buzzer concluded a rare wire-to-wire Big 12 victory for Texas — good for a third-straight home win.

“We tried to go small the last couple minutes, and I don’t know if that was a factor with our rhythm because we don’t play that a lot,” Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm said. “We were going to try to go small and see if we could cause some problems for them down the stretch. It wasn’t good for us.”

Both teams in this Big 12 clash fared very differently in their games this past Saturday. Texas suffered a 35-point demolition to a talented West Virginia team, while Iowa State breezed past then-No. 8 Texas Tech, 70-52. But the Longhorns and Cyclones trended in opposite directions when battling Monday night.

“It was a quick turnaround, but at the same time, we had to go into self-reflection mode and build off of what we could do better,” Bamba said. “Our motto coming into this was ‘somebody has to pay for it,’ and unfortunately for Iowa State it was them. The league is very competitive, and you definitely don’t want to go on a losing streak.”

Texas (13–7, 4–4 Big 12) hasn’t won consecutive games since mid-December. The Longhorns will get the opportunity to finally do so on their own hardwood on Saturday when they host a 10–9 Ole Miss squad in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Photo Credit: Katie Bauer | Daily Texan Staff

Junior forward Dylan Osetkowski set his feet and buried a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining in overtime, helping Texas rally past Iowa State at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa, on Monday night, 74-70, for its first conference road win since 2016.

After surrendering 17 threes in the loss to Kansas on Friday, Texas responded by holding Iowa State to only seven of its 27 attempts from behind the arc.

Two days after freshman forward Mo Bamba exploded scoring 11 of the Longhorns’ first 13 points against the Jayhawks, Osetkowski poured in eight of Texas' first 10 points against Iowa State — part of a career-high 25 points to go along with the junior forward's nine rebounds.

“Coach in practice has been adamant with me to shoot the ball, regardless of whether it is going in or not,” Osetkowski said. “They believe in me and I just need to have confidence. And going into this game my confidence was through the roof.”

Head coach Shaka Smart took full advantage of the Texas bench, subbing regularly to keep the pace in the Longhorns’ favor. Iowa State’s lack of depth forced the team to lean heavily on its starting rotation.

Texas also showed a full court press for much of the second half and overtime, negating the energy from the crowd of more than 14,000, limiting the Cyclones’ explosiveness down the stretch.

“We knew it would be a very similar environment to VCU,” Osetkowski said. “Great crowd. We knew Iowa State would be fighting the whole night. But those are the games you come to Texas for. This is Big 12 play, and it's what we love to do.”

The Longhorns kept the pace through the opening 20 minutes, propelled by 14 first-half points from Osetkowski. The two teams entered the locker room tied at 31.

But just as Kansas found separation early in the second half on Friday, the Cyclones seemed poised to run away with it coming out of the break. A quick six-point run gave Iowa State a five-point lead, prompting a Texas timeout with 15 minutes to play.

With the growing threat of starting conference play 0–2, the Longhorns found an unlikely hero in junior guard Eric Davis Jr. After creating consecutive and-one possessions to narrow the lead, Davis hit a 3-pointer with under two minutes left to give Texas a one-point advantage. All 15 of Davis’ points came in the second half as the Longhorns rallied to forced overtime.

From there an Osetkowski three and pair of free throws from freshman guard Matt Coleman made it a two-possession game with under two minutes to play. Texas was able to close out the contest and move to 10-4 overall and 1–1 in conference play.

“Whether it was run the clock or get a great shot instead of a good shot, we just wanted to finish the game strong,” Osetkowski said. “And we did that.”

The Longhorns continue their road trip with a matchup against No. 18 Baylor on Saturday in Waco.

Over the weekend, the Longhorns were able to avenge last year’s loss to Kansas with a 42-27 victory at home. The Big 12 had four other important conference games in the weekend lineup. Here’s how they turned out:

Oklahoma drops TCU

Oklahoma has been extending its College Football Playoff hopes week after week. The Sooners’ matchup with TCU on Saturday proved to be one of their most important and hard-fought contests of the season. Coming into the game, Oklahoma and TCU both sat atop the Big 12 standings with one loss each, with hopes of becoming the lone Big 12 representative in the playoff picture.

The Sooners quickly grabbed control in this matchup thanks to the performance by Heisman front-runner Baker Mayfield. The Sooners’ first-half offensive explosion helped them take an early lead that they would not relinquish. Oklahoma didn’t even score in the second half, but a strong defensive performance made its 38 first-half points enough for a 38-20 victory over the Horned Frogs.

Mayfield continued to build his case for a Heisman trophy with another stellar performance, throwing for 333 yards and three touchdowns. The Oklahoma offense also benefited from a strong performance by running back Rodney Anderson, who ended the game with 151 rushing yards, 139 receiving yards and four total touchdowns.

Oklahoma State slides past Iowa State

Oklahoma State and Iowa State were both very much in the race for the Big 12 Championship game coming into their matchup last Saturday. Both teams entered the contest with two conference losses, knowing a third would end their championship hopes.

Iowa State has proved to be a surprise this season, but Oklahoma State did the Cyclones no favors. The game was unexpectedly a shootout. The Cyclones were able to match the firepower of the Cowboys’ offense.

Iowa State’s impressive offensive performance was not enough, however, as quarterback Mason Rudolph and the Cowboys put 49 up on a usually stout Iowa State defense. Oklahoma State came away with a 49-42 victory.

West Virginia sneaks out win

West Virginia and Kansas State have both been formidable opponents in the Big 12 this season.

West Virginia has had quite an up-and-down season this year, but this matchup against Kansas State was a defining one for the Mountaineers. West Virginia leaned heavily on star quarterback Will Grier, as well as standout wide receiver Ka’Ruan White. Grier threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns, leading the Mountaineers to a 28-23 victory.