No. 7 Texas outlasts No. 10 Iowa State in OT in Big 12 semis
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Rori Harmon scored 12 of her 30 points in overtime and No. 7 Texas outlasted No. 10 Iowa State 82-73 on Saturday in the Big 12 women’s semifinals.
The Longhorns (25-6) will face No. 4 Baylor in the championship game Sunday. Baylor beat No. 21 Oklahoma 91-76 in the first semifinal.
“I’ve been doing it a long time,” Texas coach Vic Schaefer said. “A lot of gut-wrenchers. This one today is right up there. This team showed tremendous grit.”
Texas’ Lauren Ebo had an attempt in the lane with less than two seconds left that rolled off the rim and sent it to overtime. Texas used its size and strength inside to control the overtime, outscoring Iowa State 19-10 in the extra period.
“I think any time you play Texas it’s going to be a physical game,” Ashley Joens said. “You just have to prepare for it. You have to be aggressive as well and really battle.”
Ebo added 14 points and Joanne Allen-Taylor and DeYona Gaston had 13 each. Harmon played the entire 45 minutes.
“When it comes to games like that you have to make every effort,” Harmon said. “When you have that kind of energy you feel like you can do anything on the court.”
Joens led Iowa State (26-6) with 33 points. Lexi Donarski added 11.
Schaefer, who was annoyed earlier in the week with the fact that Harmon was selected to the All-Big 12 first team, was armed with a response.
“I will stand by what I said earlier in the week,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a matter of proving anything. If you put 10 coaches in a room and pick 10 players in the conference, I think she’s going to be in that 10.
“All those kids warranted it. They deserved it. You’re talking about the 10 best players in the Big 12 Conference, based on both ends of the floor. We don’t have offense and then take them out and put in defense.
“I’ll bet if you ask anyone in the league she guards, she gets their vote.”
The Cyclones opened the second half with a 3-pointer, but the Longhorns responded with a 7-0 run. Allen-Taylor hit a 3-pointer from the corner, and Deyona Gaston stole back-to-back inbounds passes and converted both for layups to trim the deficit to two points.
The Longhorns kept pounding the ball inside to counter the outside shooting of Iowa State. Harmon’s 3-pointer with 2:58 left in the third cut the deficit to one, and Aliyah Matharu’s 3-pointer gave the Longhorns their first lead since early in the first quarter.
“Lots of times in that game you could have folded the tent or just said it’s too hard,” Schaefer said. “But these kids don’t. That’s not part of their DNA.”
Texas took a 53-52 lead into to the fourth.
Ebo and Gaston gave Texas a five-point lead into the fourth-quarter media timeout. Ashley Joens’ traditional 3-point play cut it to 63-61, but the Cyclones missed chances to tie it on five straight possessions before Beatriz Jordao hit a basket with 22 seconds left.
Texas: The Longhorns have the size and strength to go far in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Iowa State: The Cyclones might struggle when their long-range shooting isn’t available. They had no answer for the physical Longhorns.