The Texas Longhorns women’s basketball team defeated CSUN, 83-42, on Saturday, improving the No. 14 Longhorns to 4-1 on the season.
The Longhorns have already reached that point of the season where they have to take a long view of what’s to come. Injuries have made that necessary.
Texas is a beat-up group right now and its women’s coach, Vic Schaefer, knows it. He acknowledged it in the lead-up to the game right before Thanksgiving, in between talking about his mom’s dressing and his relative distaste for peas.
So he leaned into what he had — and a relatively unexpected return.
Deyona Gaston, a forward the Longhorns need to start gathering momentum as a long-term contributor this season, had a career-high 19 points in the game. While Joanne Allen-Taylor and Shay Holle had 12 and 10 points, respectively, senior guard Audrey Warren returned to the lineup without missing a game and scored 13 points.
Texas held a 20-16 lead at the end of the first quarter before pulling away.
Warren injured herself in overtime of the Tennessee game a week ago while chasing down a rebound. It was unclear if she would play on Saturday.
But the other three players Schaefer expressed concerns about earlier in the week didn’t play. That included starting forward Aaliyah Moore, highly-touted freshman Kyndall Hunter and transfer guard Kobe King-Hawea.
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Schaefer was able to play 10 on Saturday, and with a Wednesday matchup looming with Jackson State, there is still some time for any of those three to return for next Sunday’s matchup with Texas A&M.
Schaefer call all of them “day-to-day” earlier this week.
Some injuries are more impactful than others.
“Aaliyah Moore affects us the most because she can play multiple positions, which allows Audrey to play multiple positions,” Schaefer said before the game.
So, with Warren back, the Longhorns get back part of their versatility. But they’ll have to wait on the rest.
“We need to get those others back,” Schaefer said. “They’re some critical pieces to the puzzle that allow us to be really special.”
Longhorns invited to Battle 4 Atlantis in 2022: Vic Schaefer referenced that the past two seasons the Longhorns have been home and not at a Thanksgiving holiday tournament.
That will change in 2022, as the Longhorns have accepted an invitation to the Battle 4 Atlantis Women’s Tournament Nov. 19-21. Texas will join Gonzaga, Marquette, Rutgers, South Dakota, Tennessee, UCLA and Louisville in Paradise Island, The Bahamas, next year.