Aston earns 150th career win as Texas outlasts Oklahoma

AddThis

Freshman guard Ariel Atkins dominated the game for the Longhorns with 21 points in the 84-81 double overtime win Thursday night.
Photo Credit: Ellyn Snider | Daily Texan Staff

Head coach Karen Aston finally captured a major milestone Thursday night. 

Aston achieved her 150th victory with the No. 14 Longhorns after beating No. 24 Oklahoma in double overtime 84–81. 

“Just really, really proud of our basketball team,” Aston said. “Obviously we’ve been through some adversity the last couple of weeks. We’ve been in a little bit of a lull, but hopefully this will give us some excitement.”

Freshman guard Ariel Atkins started things off by winning the tip and immediately putting two points on the board for Texas. However, the Longhorns found themselves behind for most of the first 30 minutes despite Atkins’ 7 points in the first half. 

At the break, Oklahoma led 33–30, and the Sooners started the second half with 4 straight points that forced Aston to call a timeout. 

That’s when Texas started its comeback. 

Junior guard Brady Sanders knocked down a 3-point shot, closing the gap to within 10. Shortly after, sophomore center Kelsey Lang drew a foul and completed a 3-point play, leaving Texas down by only 4 points. 

The Longhorns held Oklahoma to just 38.5 percent shooting in the second half and out-rebounded the Sooners 31–28. Several players finished with multiple blocks, including junior center Imani McGee-Stafford, whose block late in the game pushed the momentum back to Texas. McGee-Stafford also had her best game since returning from her injury, but the win mattered more to her. 

“I didn’t even know I had a good game until now,” McGee-Stafford said. “I just care about winning. It’s nice to know I am playing better, but I’m just focused on winning.”

Following Sanders’ layup that tied the game, junior guard Empress Davenport made two free throws, giving the Longhorns the lead with 5:30 left. However, Oklahoma would eventually even it up to send the game to overtime.  

One extra period wouldn’t be enough, though, as the game went into a second overtime. With a minute left, Lang scored to give Texas the lead, which it held for the remainder of the game. 

“A lot of players made a lot of plays,” Aston said. “Everybody that came in the game contributed, which is what I said all along from the very beginning this team has to be about.”

Atkins tallied a career-high 21 points, while four other Longhorns shot in the double-digits. 

Texas will take on TCU in Fort Worth on Sunday.