Boyette leads No. 5 Texas women past Canisius, 92-62
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Canisius coach Terry Zeh has nobody taller than 6-foot-1 on his roster, so he approached the game against No. 5 Texas on Wednesday night with a combination of conventional strategy and wishful thinking.
Convene a crowd around the basket to defend Imani Boyette, the Longhorns' 6-7 center, and hope that her teammates don't take advantage by making open perimeter shots.
Nothing really worked. Boyette scored 15 points, the other Longhorns made eight 3-pointers and Texas routed Canisius 92-62.
Boyette was 7 of 9 from the field. Lashann Higgs and Brooke McCarty added 14 points apiece for the Longhorns. McCarty made four 3-pointers. She also had five assists.
Texas (9-0) had a 20-2 run in the first half to open a 23-point lead.
''When we are trying to help inside, and they start banging threes it makes it really difficult for us to guard,'' Zeh said. ''We can't defend (Boyette) in a one on one situation in the post. Our hope was that they didn't make threes tonight.''
A year ago the results might have been better. Texas shot 29.6 percent on 3-pointers last season. This season the Longhorns are hitting 38 percent. McCarty and Celina Rodrigo are the top shooters.
Texas coach Karen Aston said time spent in the gym has produced better accuracy and more confidence, but she offered another explanation as well.
''Some of it's been me letting go of the reins a little bit,'' Aston said. ''We've got to take them to make them. I think it's opened up our offense a little more.''
Boyette appreciates that.
''(Opponents) have to try to figure out what they want to give up,'' Boyette said. ''I've adjusted to my role. I might not always be scoring.''
Tiahana Mills led Canisius (6-3) with 13 points, and Margret Halfdanardottir had 11.
Canisius tried to be competitive by using its biggest asset on offense, 3-point shooting. The Golden Griffins made nine of them, including three by Halfdanardottir.
They took advantage of a Longhorn zone defense that Aston assembled knowing that might be the wrong approach.
''I did it purposely to see if we could manufacture some defense out of our zone,'' Aston said. ''And we didn't. So I kind of know where we stand with that.''
Canisius: The Golden Griffins had their six-game winning streak snapped. ... Canisius began the night ranked sixth nationally in field goal defense, allowing opponents just 31.9 percent accuracy. Texas shot 55.7. ... Canisius is 0-7 against nationally ranked opponents during Terry Zeh's 12 seasons as coach. Texas is the highest ranked team the Golden Griffins faced in those games.
Texas: The Longhorns extended their regular-season nonconference winning streak to 23 games, going back to 2013-14. ... Senior guard Empress Davenport was named national player of the week by the United States Basketball Writers Association after scoring a career-best 23 points in a victory over then-No. 14 Stanford.
Less than 3 minutes into the game, Aston replaced her five starters.
''I just didn't think our attention to detail was very good,'' Aston said. ''We had some specific things we were supposed to run and we didn't do a whole lot of that. ''
Coach Terry Zeh has two players from Iceland at Canisius - located in Buffalo, New York - in Halfdanardottir and Sara Hinriksdottir.
''The great thing is I don't have to explain the Buffalo weather,'' Zeh said.
Canisius is at Northeastern on Monday
Texas faces Arkansas in Oklahoma City on Sunday.