No. 5 Texas' defense overwhelms UCF in 87-56 victory


Aaliyah Moore gets the bucket for Longhorns

ORLANDO, FL -- — Madison Booker had 22 points and five assists to lead No. 5 Texas to an 87-56 victory over UCF on Saturday for its eighth straight win.

The Longhorns (26-3, 13-3 Big 12) held the Knights (12-14, 3-13) to four points in the second quarter to take a 21-point lead into the locker room at halftime. UCF shot only 35.3% for the game.

“That's how you play," Texas coach Vic Schaefer said. "If you're the fifth-ranked team in the country and you're supposed to be, that's how the fifth-ranked team in the country plays. I couldn't be more proud of them.”

Taylor Jones scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Texas, which had five players in double-digit scoring. Guard Shay Holle added 14 points, Shaylee Gonzales had 13 and Deyona Gaston chipped in 12. Texas made 62.5% of its shots to build as much as a 31-point lead.

UCF struggled to get its offense going against Texas' defense, getting outscored 23-4 in the second quarter as the Longhorns broke the game open. Texas scored 28 points off 21 turnovers, including 10 turnovers for 15 points in the decisive second quarter.

The Longhorns had seven steals and drew seven offensive fouls, including four in the second quarter.

UCF made 1 of 7 shots in the second quarter and tallied only seven assists total in the game.

“It's tough. We played a lot of 1-on-1 basketball in the second quarter," UCF coach Sytia Messer said. "We've got to get better at that. When we execute and do what we ask, we're a better team.”

UCF leading scorer Kaitlin Peterson struggled to get going, finishing with 14 points on 4 for 20 shooting. She entered the game averaging 20.3 points per game.

Timia Ware led the Knights with 16 points off the bench. No other UCF player hit double figures.

The Longhorns forced 16 first-half turnovers for 21 points to stake their lead. The Knights went scoreless for the final 4:25 of the second quarter. UCF had two scoreless droughts of five minutes or longer in the first half, helping give Texas a 39-18 lead at the break.

The Knights got as close as 15 points twice in the second half. UCF won the third quarter 25-22. But the team struggled to keep up in the fourth quarter, shooting 4 for 15, falling behind by 20-plus points again.

“What worked for us today was our team identity, which is team defense," Booker said. "Especially the second quarter, it was all team defense. We got out in the open court and ran. That translates to buckets. This whole game as a team was us being united.”


Texas continued to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume with its eighth win in a row. The Longhorns are chasing No. 23 Oklahoma and No. 10 Kansas State atop the Big 12 standings.

UCF is still trying to find its footing in the Big 12. The Knights sit in last place in the conference with two games remaining before the Big 12 Tournament begins.


Texas: Plays its final road game of the regular season against No. 23 Oklahoma on Wednesday.

UCF: Concludes its home schedule against Kansas on Wednesday.


AP women’s college basketball: and