Women’s Basketball Thumps Incarnate Word 77-33

New women’s basketball head coach Karen Aston wasted no time getting down to business this season, coaching her team to a resounding 77-33 victory in last Tuesday’s exhibition game against Incarnate Word.

Though the game won’t count towards official season records, it provided valuable insight into what the team is already doing well, and what it isn’t yet. Despite out-rebounding Incarnate Word 58-23 and holding them to 16.7 percent from the floor, the Longhorns coughed up an alarming 24 turnovers and committed 19 fouls.

But the team is young, and Aston promises progress soon. “By January and February, this will be a team to be reckoned with,” she told the Austin American-Statesman after the game. The roster shows plenty of potential for improvement, featuring seven players who, prior to Tuesday night, had never set foot on the Frank Erwin Center floor.

There is one new face that Texas fans may already recognize—fifth-year senior Nadia Taylor, who transferred over from the Texas softball program after exhausting her four years of eligibility in that sport. Taylor came off the bench in the last four minutes of the game to register her first two buckets as a member of her new Texas team.

A pair of highly-touted freshmen are already making an impact as well. Empress Davenport, a top prospect out of Duncanville High School, got the start and logged six points in 21 minutes. Classmate Imani McGee-Stafford, a 6’7″ forward ranked as the 11th overall recruit by ESPN Hoopgurlz, also lived up to the hype on Tuesday night, scoring six and grabbing 12 total rebounds.

With so many new players on this Texas roster, Coach Aston relies heavily on the leadership of her veterans—and on Tuesday night, they delivered. Senior Cokie Reed hit six of her seven shots, finishing the game with 13 points. But she’s not just a leader on the court. Reed is one of the team’s two tenured seniors, and the overall direction of the team is something she takes very personally. When asked about Reed’s leadership, Coach Aston replied, “She’s the leader of the group, and she’s proud of being at this point where she can take some responsibility for this program.”

Reed and the Longhorns will take the court for their season opener this Friday to play St. John’s at the WBI Tipoff Classic in Daytona, Florida. They return to Austin for their home opener against Jackson State on Nov. 20th.

Photo courtesy of UT Athletics.


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