Texas guard Rori Harmon intercepted a poor Lexy Keys pass and threw the ball down the floor.
Shaylee Gonzalez, Texas guard, collected the ball and two-stepped down the right side of the lane for a transition bucket. Gonzalez, the daughter of two coaches, made the full-speed basket look elementary.
Texas beat Oklahoma State 64-57 in the semifinals of the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament on Saturday. The Longhorns scored 21 points off 17 OSU turnovers and made an 11-2 run in the third quarter that extinguished OSU’s hopes in Kansas City.
“That's one of the things we do focus on here,” Harmon said. “We like to run the floor a lot, so if we get a turnover we need to run. There is no point in waiting in the paint and the guards waiting in the paint realizing that we already got the rebound. It happened a few times where Shaylee, she is already out there, and after we turn them over, those are the points we need. I guess it was 21-7, so those are the points that make the difference in the game sometimes.”
Texas coach Vic Schaefer praised OSU’s guards for outstanding play this season. Texas’ length gave Cowgirl guards trouble and turned over the normally reliable OSU backcourt 14 times.
OSU struggled similarly in a win against West Virginia yesterday, committing 20 turnovers. The difference is Texas forced live ball turnovers, fueling eight fastbreak points.
“I think live turnovers are different,” OSU coach Jacie Hoyt said. “And, I mean, that's what Texas does. They're going to pressure you. They're going to make everything hard for forty minutes.
You know, when we played them the first time and we won we had about the same amount of turnovers. That's just kind of what you can expect going up against their defense.”
In her postgame press conference, Hoyt wanted keep a large perspective.
She said losing to Texas (25-8, 14-4) doesn’t take away from a season she is proud of. in the preseason, Big 12 coaches picked OSU to finish ninth. Instead, Hoyt took a roster gutted from last year and led the team to an NCAA Tournament. The Cowgirls are projected as a nine-seed in ESPN’s bracketology and will hear their name called in Sunday night’s selection show.
“Going to the NCAA Tournament is something that we all dream of,” Hoyt said. “That's the whole point. At the start of the year that's what it's about, and we get to leave here knowing that we get that opportunity.”