Texas center Imani Boyette shoots against Hampton forward Mikayla Sayle, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Texas won 79-52. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)
Michael Thomas
November 25, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Brianna Taylor is learning how to play under control, and that's good news for No. 8 Texas.

Taylor scored 16 points, helping the Longhorns cruise to a 79-52 victory over Hampton on Wednesday night.

Taylor, a versatile junior who plays guard and forward, was 6 for 9 from the field in 18 minutes. She had a career-best 19 points in a 70-47 victory at Rice on Saturday.

''In the beginning, when she was younger, it was crazy energy,'' Texas coach Karen Aston said. ''There has always been a different tempo when Bri has been in the game. She's matured into a basketball player instead of just a hyper athlete. She's making more heady plays, good decisions with the ball. Her shot has gotten better.''

Said Taylor: ''It took a lot of patience to take my game to that next level.''

Imani Boyette added 13 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals for Texas (4-0). Lashann Higgs had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Boyette appreciates what Taylor contributes to the team.

''Bri is like a godsend, because I'm not known for diving on the floor,'' Boyette said.

Maila Tate-DeFreitas led Hampton with 21 points. Kaylah Lupoe scored 16.

''We have to find offense other than Malia and Lupoe,'' Hampton coach David Six said.

Hampton (0-5) went without a field goal for the first eight minutes. The Pirates trailed by 13 when the first quarter ended.

''I thought we got (good) looks,'' Six said.

Texas had a 10-point lead before it pulled away to a 43-22 advantage at the break.

The big early lead allowed Aston to rest her starters and work in reserves like the freshmen Higgs and Jordan Hosey.

''We played everybody, which is good,'' Aston said. ''We had some combinations that didn't look good at times because they maybe hadn't played together before. We worked on some things that we haven't actually incorporated into games very much, so I expected us to look a little bit ragged. We had some moments when we were really good.''

NOW THE REAL TESTS

Next up for Texas is a pair of difficult games. The Longhorns visit No. 4 Tennessee on Sunday and return home to meet Mississippi State, tied with Texas at No. 8, on Wednesday.

''We need this right now,'' Aston said. ''We need to go into somebody's place and be really, really challenged. We need to see what some of our weaknesses are. I think we know what they are. But we needed to be challenged at those and maybe exposed. It will make us better.''

TIP-INS

Hampton: The Pirates dropped to 2-7 against schools currently in the Big 12 Conference, including 0-2 versus Texas. ... The visit to Texas completed a grueling road trip of five games in 13 days. The Pirates lost at Iowa State, Oregon, Washington State and Texas-El Paso by an average of 25.5 points.

Texas: Guard Ariel Atkins has yet to play this season while recovering right ankle surgery during the offseason. Atkins started 19 games as a freshman and averaged 9.7 points. Aston estimates that Atkins will return in time for Big 12 competition, which starts on Jan. 2. . Senior Imani Boyette became the 38th Longhorn woman to reach 1,000 points for her career.

NEXT UP

Hampton hosts James Madison on Sunday.

Texas visits Tennessee on Sunday afternoon.

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