No. 6 Texas pulls away from Kansas to advance to Big 12 semifinal


Texas Longhorns vs. Kansas Jayhawks - Game Highlights

Watch the Game Highlights from Texas Longhorns vs. Kansas Jayhawks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- — Madison Booker scored 21 points and Aaliyah Moore added 19 to help No. 6 Texas pull away from Kansas for a 76-60 victory in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament on Saturday.

“Obviously that’s a really good win for us,” Texas coach Vic Schaefer said. "That’s probably one of the hottest teams in the country. They (had) won nine out of 10.

“To play that well down the stretch in the fourth quarter, we feel like that’s our time when it gets hard. And it was hard today from the get-go.”

Texas (28-4) also got 15 points from Taylor Jones. Shay Holle scored the first eight points in the fourth quarter to help the Longhorns put the game away as they outscored Kansas 28-17 in the period. Holle finished with 10.

“It’s a whole lot easier coaching when you've got a guard that can make a shot,” Schaefer said of Holle's spurt to start the fourth quarter.

Holle was not too impressed with her own game.

“Coach puts all of us in good positions to score and my teammates found me,” she said. “I didn’t take as many shots as maybe I should have in the first half. But we just want to be patient getting good looks. The ball found me and it went in.”

Kansas (19-12) was led by S'Mya Nichols with 20 points. Holly Kersgieter added 17 and Zakiyah Franklin added 13.

“I'm glad I don’t have to look at (Nichols) for three more years,” said Schaefer, who is moving to the SEC with Texas next season.

Kansas starting center Taiyanna Jackson picked up her fourth foul with 7:25 left in the third quarter, putting the Jayhawks in deep trouble on the front line. But the Jayhawks wouldn't quit. Nichols hit a 3-pointer with 3:14 left in the quarter to cut it to 40-39, but they never grabbed the lead.

“I thought the first three minutes in the second half were really tough on us with some of the foul calls,” Kansas coach Brandon Schneider said. “It dictated our ability to stay in any type of typical rotation.”

Kersgieter's 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range kept Kansas in the game, even with the foul trouble for Kansas' bigs.

“Playing through the paint was less of an option, obviously,” she said. “So we had to keep up our perimeter shooting to help space the lane.”

Texas held the Jayhawks to just 4-of-16 shooting in the first quarter, opening a 19-12 lead. Kansas scored the first six points of the second quarter to trim the deficit to just one, but the Jayhawks never grabbed the lead. Hitting 10-of-11 from the free-throw line kept the Jayhawks in the game, as they trailed 34-29 at the half.

The Jayhawks were plagued by foul trouble. Jackson picked up her second with 3:37 left in the second quarter, giving Kansas three players with two fouls, including two starters (Nichols). Backup center Danai Papadopoulou picked up her third foul with 2:38 left in the half and her fourth with 1:51 left.


Kansas: The Jayhawks were a completely different team than they were in mid-January, when they lost 91-56 at Texas.

Texas: The Longhorns' defense will keep them in any game. They're now 19-1 when holding their opponents under 40% from the field.


Kansas: The Jayhawks will wait until March 17 to see if they receive an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament.

Texas: The Longhorns will face the winner of Saturday’s final game between West Virginia and No. 16 Kansas State.


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