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Women's Softball Eliminated from Austin Regional

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Desperately needing a win to stay alive and have an opportunity to play in the championship game from the loser’s bracket, the Longhorn softball team lost 5-3 to UL-Lafayette Saturday evening in Austin eliminating the Longhorns from post-season play.  Rachel Fox lasted two innings and gave up 3 runs before Longhorn Ace Blaire Luna replaced her and gave up two runs of her own.  The Longhorns had a great regular season in which many folks had high hopes of this team pushing deep into postseason play.  The University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns will face the University of Houston Cougars in the Championship game of the Austin Regional.

For a complete analysis of the game and box score please click here.

Aaron Carrara is the founder and publisher of HornSports and has covered University of Texas athletics since 2011. Aaron is a member of the Football Writer's Association of America and the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association and is a proud father to three boys.

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Texas Women's Basketball ends season at 31-5, optimistic for next season

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The Texas women’s basketball team ended its 2015-16 campaign a week ago Monday in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament.

The Longhorns lost to the University of Connecticut, 65-86, holding the Huskies to their lowest offensive scoring night in the tournament through their first four games. Before the game, UCONN scored an average of 98.7 points a contest.

It was unfortunate that Texas drew a No. 2 seed in UCONN’s region as the Huskies are aiming for their fourth consecutive national title, but the Longhorns never gave up.

“I think everyone could see that our team was exhausting themselves trying to compete,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said in the postgame conference.

Freshman guard Lashann Higgs and sophomore guard Ariel Atkins each scored 19 points, tying for the team high in points. Higgs came off the bench and utilized her 19 minutes wisely; the 19 points she scored created a new career high for her. Atkins played nearly the entire game, totaling 33 minutes of work. She hit three-of-four from 3-point range and swiped three steals.

Higgs and Atkins both earned Bridgeport All-Regional Team honors, giving Texas its first spots on an NCAA All-Regional team since 2003. They accompanied three other UCONN players on the list. Atkins averaged 18 points and 2.8 steals a game through four tournament games, leading the Longhorns in both categories. Higgs recorded double figures in scoring for three games, giving herself an average of 11.5 points a game for the tournament.

The 2015-16 season for the Longhorns ended up being one of their best seasons in recent years. Texas finished with 31 overall wins, marking a first in program history since the 1987-88 season. The Longhorns started the season undefeated, winning their first 16 games before losing to Baylor and finished with a 15-3 conference record. The team won its way to the Big 12 Championship game for the second consecutive year but came up short to Baylor. The No. 2 seed the Longhorns earned for the NCAA tournament marked their best seeding since 2004 when the team received a No. 1 seed.

“I think we are a phenomenal basketball team,” said Aston. “I didn’t say that last year. We weren’t. But I think we are a really good. And very easily could have been in the Final Four had we gone in a different region.”

The 2016-17 Texas women’s basketball team will have some big shoes to fill. Seniors Imani Boyette, Brady Sanders, Celina Rodrigo and Empress Davenport are all graduating and leaving the forty acres. Boyette ended her career as the only Longhorn to record more than 1,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 200 career blocks. Rodrigo leaves the program as the active leader in career assists. She recorded 140 assists this past season, which was 51 more than second place. Davenport played in every Longhorn matchup this season, starting in 34 of the 36 games. Sanders, recovering from her offseason surgery, struggled to see much of the court this past season, but she entered her last year co-leading the team in career games played. Sanders played in 29 of the games this past season.

Texas’ underclassmen have already been stepping up as seen through Higgs and Atkins performances during the NCAA tournament. Coming into the tournament, Atkins averaged 10 points a game. The 15 points she scored against Alabama State during the first round marked her lowest offensive showing during the tournament – She scored 22 against Missouri, 16 against UCLA and 19 against UCONN. During Big 12 conference play, Higgs only recorded minutes in 16 of the 18 games, averaging 4.1 points. Higgs ended the Longhorns’ NCAA tournament run with the third highest average in points on the team – Atkins and sophomore guard Brooke McCarty were the two teammates ahead of her.

Texas had a good run this season, finishing with more than 30 wins, but Aston is ready for a championship, and reaching the Elite Eight this season should encourage the team to push for more next season, according to Aston.

“As much as 31-5 sounds unbelievable, and I do think that we were an unbelievable team and had an unbelievable year, we still don’t have a ring,” said Aston. “We are still chasing championships. So, we should be highly motivated.”

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Women's Basketball to face UCONN in Elite 8

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The time has come. The Texas women’s basketball team faces the University of Connecticut in the round of eight on Monday night.

The Longhorns beat UCLA 72-64 on Saturday to advance to the regional finals. Texas trailed by five at halftime and six at the end of the third quarter before opening the fourth on a 10-0 run. The Horns scored 24 points in the final quarter to end the Bruins tournament run.

The University of Connecticut won its Sweet 16 game in regular Husky fashion, beating Mississippi State by 60 points. It was the largest margin of victory ever in an NCAA regional. The Huskies sit three wins short of their fourth consecutive national championship.

Texas and Connecticut have a little bit of tournament history of their own. Just last year, the Huskies ended the Longhorns tournament run in the round of 16. In the 2007-08 season, Connecticut routed Texas in the second round. And, the last time the Longhorns won an Elite Eight game, which was the 2002-03 season, the Huskies beat Texas in the Final Four before going on to win the national championship.

This year the Longhorns face the Huskies in the Elite Eight.

UCONN enters the game on a 72-game winning streak. Senior forward Breanna Stewart scored 22 points against Mississippi State in 25 minutes of play. Stewart is averaging 20.3 points a game during tournament play. The Huskies own numerous scoring options though. Freshman guard Katie Lou Samuelson recorded her second 20-point NCAA tournament game with 21 against Mississippi State. The freshman scored 22 against Robert Morris in the opening round of play. Samuelson is the third Husky with two 20-point games in tournament play as a freshman with the other two players being Maya Moore and Stewart.

Texas is having one of its better seasons in recent years. The Longhorns earned their 31st win against UCLA, giving Texas it’s first 31-win season since 1987-88. The Horns started the season undefeated, winning their first 16 games before losing to Baylor. Texas only lost three games during the regular season. The Longhorns senior center Imani Boyette has recorded 13 double-doubles this season with her first postseason double-double coming against the Bruins. Boyette became the first player in Texas history with more than 1,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 200 career-blocked shots.

For the top two seeds in the Bridgeport Region, there is more than just a trip to the Final Four on the line. The Longhorns are seeking their first regional championship in 13 years while Connecticut sits one win shy of 22 consecutive NCAA tournament wins, which would set a new tournament record. The regional final tips off Monday night at 6:00 CT and can be seen on ESPN.

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GAME PREVIEW: Texas Women's Basketball to face UCLA in Sweet 16

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The Texas women’s basketball team returns to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season.

The Longhorns beat Alabama State in the first round and former Big 12 foe Missouri in the second round to advance to the round of 16. Texas’ next opponent is No. 3 seed UCLA in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The Bruins hosted the first two rounds of the tournament, beating Hawai’i and South Florida to move to third round. UCLA has won 10 of its last 12 games. Both losses in that stretch came against Oregon State, a team who earned a No. 2 seed in Baylor’s region.

Texas is seeing a new offensive spark through its first two games of the tournament. Sophomore guard Ariel Atkins led the team in scoring both games with 15 against Alabama State and 22 against Missouri. The 22 points against the Tigers tied Atkins career high. Atkins entered the tournament averaging 10 points a game. Freshman guard Lashann Higgs is also making good use of her playing time with scoring 10 points in the first game and 11 points in the second game. Higgs is averaging 15 minutes a game.

The Longhorns, as a team, are averaging 79.5 points a game during the tournament. Against Alabama State, they scored 86 points. Previously, Texas only recorded 80-plus points twice during Big 12 play and a total of six times over the whole season.

The Bruins enter the match up averaging 69 points a game during the tournament. UCLA has numerous scoring options with senior guard Nirra Fields leading the way in the tournament by averaging 15 points a game. Sophomore guard Jordin Canada comes in second with 14.5 points.

UCLA led its second round game against South Florida 40-24 at halftime before letting the Bulls back into the game. The Bruins allowed South Florida to come within one point in the second half but held on to win 72-67.

The Texas defense is allowing an average of 48.5 points a game. The Longhorns held Alabama State to a 22.2 shooting percentage and Missouri to a 31.4 shooting percentage. Texas has also outrebounded both of its opponents so far in the tournament, something the Longhorns did often during their regular season.

This is the Bruins first time in the regional semifinals since 1999. The Longhorns are seeking their first Elite Eight appearance since the 2002-03 season when they lost in the Final Four to UCONN. A win over the Bruins this Saturday could set up a match up against the Huskies with a trip to the Final Four on the line. The Bruins and Longhorns tip off at 1:00 CT on Saturday and will be broadcasted on ESPN.

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Game Preview: Texas vs. Alabama State

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It had to happen to someone. One team was going to fight to earn a No. 2 seed in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament only to get the reward of seeing the University of Connecticut as its roadblock to the Final Four. The Texas women’s basketball team ended up as that team Monday night, earning the No. 2 seed in the Huskies’ region.

Uconn, Notre Dame, Baylor and South Carolina all earned No. 1 seeds. Besides Texas, the other No. 2 seeds include Oregon State, Arizona State and Maryland.

The Huskies ended the Longhorns tournament run last season in the Sweet 16, and the two schools could meet up this year in the Elite Eight. Texas cannot dwell on the past or the future – the Longhorns need to focus on what lies directly ahead of them.

Texas drew Alabama State as its first opponent.

The Lady Hornets won the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship for the second straight season and earned a No. 15 seed in the tournament for the second straight year as well.

“I’m so excited about playing Texas,” said head coach Freda Freeman-Jackson told bamastatesports.com. “This is a team we never played before so I know we have our work cut out for us.”

The Longhorns finished the regular season and the Big 12 tournament in second place, behind Baylor. Texas beat six AP Top-25 teams this season, including two ranked in the top-10.

Alabama State closed out its regular-season on a three-game winning streak and added three more victories in the SWAC tournament, putting the Lady Hornets on a six-game winning streak entering the NCAA tournament.

This season the Longhorns earned 28 overall victories, marking the most by a Texas team since the 2003-04 season. The Horns also finished with 15 regular season conference wins, tying the 2002-03 team for the school’s record.

Texas is hosting the first two rounds of the tournament with BYU and Missouri kicking off action on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Longhorns match up against the Lady Hornets follows with a tentative start time of 8 p.m. CT. Both games will be broadcasted on ESPN2.

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Women's Softball Eliminated from Austin Regional

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Desperately needing a win to stay alive and have an opportunity to play in the championship game from the loser’s bracket, the Longhorn softball team lost 5-3 to UL-Lafayette Saturday evening in Austin eliminating the Longhorns from post-season play.  Rachel Fox lasted two innings and gave up 3 runs before Longhorn Ace Blaire Luna replaced her and gave up two runs of her own.  (more…)

Aaron Carrara is the founder and publisher of HornSports and has covered University of Texas athletics since 2011. Aaron is a member of the Football Writer's Association of America and the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association and is a proud father to three boys.

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Texas Women's Basketball ends season at 31-5, optimistic for next season

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The Texas women’s basketball team ended its 2015-16 campaign a week ago Monday in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament.

The Longhorns lost to the University of Connecticut, 65-86, holding the Huskies to their lowest offensive scoring night in the tournament through their first four games. Before the game, UCONN scored an average of 98.7 points a contest.

It was unfortunate that Texas drew a No. 2 seed in UCONN’s region as the Huskies are aiming for their fourth consecutive national title, but the Longhorns never gave up.

“I think everyone could see that our team was exhausting themselves trying to compete,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said in the postgame conference.

Freshman guard Lashann Higgs and sophomore guard Ariel Atkins each scored 19 points, tying for the team high in points. Higgs came off the bench and utilized her 19 minutes wisely; the 19 points she scored created a new career high for her. Atkins played nearly the entire game, totaling 33 minutes of work. She hit three-of-four from 3-point range and swiped three steals.

Higgs and Atkins both earned Bridgeport All-Regional Team honors, giving Texas its first spots on an NCAA All-Regional team since 2003. They accompanied three other UCONN players on the list. Atkins averaged 18 points and 2.8 steals a game through four tournament games, leading the Longhorns in both categories. Higgs recorded double figures in scoring for three games, giving herself an average of 11.5 points a game for the tournament.

The 2015-16 season for the Longhorns ended up being one of their best seasons in recent years. Texas finished with 31 overall wins, marking a first in program history since the 1987-88 season. The Longhorns started the season undefeated, winning their first 16 games before losing to Baylor and finished with a 15-3 conference record. The team won its way to the Big 12 Championship game for the second consecutive year but came up short to Baylor. The No. 2 seed the Longhorns earned for the NCAA tournament marked their best seeding since 2004 when the team received a No. 1 seed.

“I think we are a phenomenal basketball team,” said Aston. “I didn’t say that last year. We weren’t. But I think we are a really good. And very easily could have been in the Final Four had we gone in a different region.”

The 2016-17 Texas women’s basketball team will have some big shoes to fill. Seniors Imani Boyette, Brady Sanders, Celina Rodrigo and Empress Davenport are all graduating and leaving the forty acres. Boyette ended her career as the only Longhorn to record more than 1,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 200 career blocks. Rodrigo leaves the program as the active leader in career assists. She recorded 140 assists this past season, which was 51 more than second place. Davenport played in every Longhorn matchup this season, starting in 34 of the 36 games. Sanders, recovering from her offseason surgery, struggled to see much of the court this past season, but she entered her last year co-leading the team in career games played. Sanders played in 29 of the games this past season.

Texas’ underclassmen have already been stepping up as seen through Higgs and Atkins performances during the NCAA tournament. Coming into the tournament, Atkins averaged 10 points a game. The 15 points she scored against Alabama State during the first round marked her lowest offensive showing during the tournament – She scored 22 against Missouri, 16 against UCLA and 19 against UCONN. During Big 12 conference play, Higgs only recorded minutes in 16 of the 18 games, averaging 4.1 points. Higgs ended the Longhorns’ NCAA tournament run with the third highest average in points on the team – Atkins and sophomore guard Brooke McCarty were the two teammates ahead of her.

Texas had a good run this season, finishing with more than 30 wins, but Aston is ready for a championship, and reaching the Elite Eight this season should encourage the team to push for more next season, according to Aston.

“As much as 31-5 sounds unbelievable, and I do think that we were an unbelievable team and had an unbelievable year, we still don’t have a ring,” said Aston. “We are still chasing championships. So, we should be highly motivated.”

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Women's Basketball to face UCONN in Elite 8

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The time has come. The Texas women’s basketball team faces the University of Connecticut in the round of eight on Monday night.

The Longhorns beat UCLA 72-64 on Saturday to advance to the regional finals. Texas trailed by five at halftime and six at the end of the third quarter before opening the fourth on a 10-0 run. The Horns scored 24 points in the final quarter to end the Bruins tournament run.

The University of Connecticut won its Sweet 16 game in regular Husky fashion, beating Mississippi State by 60 points. It was the largest margin of victory ever in an NCAA regional. The Huskies sit three wins short of their fourth consecutive national championship.

Texas and Connecticut have a little bit of tournament history of their own. Just last year, the Huskies ended the Longhorns tournament run in the round of 16. In the 2007-08 season, Connecticut routed Texas in the second round. And, the last time the Longhorns won an Elite Eight game, which was the 2002-03 season, the Huskies beat Texas in the Final Four before going on to win the national championship.

This year the Longhorns face the Huskies in the Elite Eight.

UCONN enters the game on a 72-game winning streak. Senior forward Breanna Stewart scored 22 points against Mississippi State in 25 minutes of play. Stewart is averaging 20.3 points a game during tournament play. The Huskies own numerous scoring options though. Freshman guard Katie Lou Samuelson recorded her second 20-point NCAA tournament game with 21 against Mississippi State. The freshman scored 22 against Robert Morris in the opening round of play. Samuelson is the third Husky with two 20-point games in tournament play as a freshman with the other two players being Maya Moore and Stewart.

Texas is having one of its better seasons in recent years. The Longhorns earned their 31st win against UCLA, giving Texas it’s first 31-win season since 1987-88. The Horns started the season undefeated, winning their first 16 games before losing to Baylor. Texas only lost three games during the regular season. The Longhorns senior center Imani Boyette has recorded 13 double-doubles this season with her first postseason double-double coming against the Bruins. Boyette became the first player in Texas history with more than 1,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 200 career-blocked shots.

For the top two seeds in the Bridgeport Region, there is more than just a trip to the Final Four on the line. The Longhorns are seeking their first regional championship in 13 years while Connecticut sits one win shy of 22 consecutive NCAA tournament wins, which would set a new tournament record. The regional final tips off Monday night at 6:00 CT and can be seen on ESPN.

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GAME PREVIEW: Texas Women's Basketball to face UCLA in Sweet 16

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The Texas women’s basketball team returns to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season.

The Longhorns beat Alabama State in the first round and former Big 12 foe Missouri in the second round to advance to the round of 16. Texas’ next opponent is No. 3 seed UCLA in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The Bruins hosted the first two rounds of the tournament, beating Hawai’i and South Florida to move to third round. UCLA has won 10 of its last 12 games. Both losses in that stretch came against Oregon State, a team who earned a No. 2 seed in Baylor’s region.

Texas is seeing a new offensive spark through its first two games of the tournament. Sophomore guard Ariel Atkins led the team in scoring both games with 15 against Alabama State and 22 against Missouri. The 22 points against the Tigers tied Atkins career high. Atkins entered the tournament averaging 10 points a game. Freshman guard Lashann Higgs is also making good use of her playing time with scoring 10 points in the first game and 11 points in the second game. Higgs is averaging 15 minutes a game.

The Longhorns, as a team, are averaging 79.5 points a game during the tournament. Against Alabama State, they scored 86 points. Previously, Texas only recorded 80-plus points twice during Big 12 play and a total of six times over the whole season.

The Bruins enter the match up averaging 69 points a game during the tournament. UCLA has numerous scoring options with senior guard Nirra Fields leading the way in the tournament by averaging 15 points a game. Sophomore guard Jordin Canada comes in second with 14.5 points.

UCLA led its second round game against South Florida 40-24 at halftime before letting the Bulls back into the game. The Bruins allowed South Florida to come within one point in the second half but held on to win 72-67.

The Texas defense is allowing an average of 48.5 points a game. The Longhorns held Alabama State to a 22.2 shooting percentage and Missouri to a 31.4 shooting percentage. Texas has also outrebounded both of its opponents so far in the tournament, something the Longhorns did often during their regular season.

This is the Bruins first time in the regional semifinals since 1999. The Longhorns are seeking their first Elite Eight appearance since the 2002-03 season when they lost in the Final Four to UCONN. A win over the Bruins this Saturday could set up a match up against the Huskies with a trip to the Final Four on the line. The Bruins and Longhorns tip off at 1:00 CT on Saturday and will be broadcasted on ESPN.

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Game Preview: Texas vs. Alabama State

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It had to happen to someone. One team was going to fight to earn a No. 2 seed in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament only to get the reward of seeing the University of Connecticut as its roadblock to the Final Four. The Texas women’s basketball team ended up as that team Monday night, earning the No. 2 seed in the Huskies’ region.

Uconn, Notre Dame, Baylor and South Carolina all earned No. 1 seeds. Besides Texas, the other No. 2 seeds include Oregon State, Arizona State and Maryland.

The Huskies ended the Longhorns tournament run last season in the Sweet 16, and the two schools could meet up this year in the Elite Eight. Texas cannot dwell on the past or the future – the Longhorns need to focus on what lies directly ahead of them.

Texas drew Alabama State as its first opponent.

The Lady Hornets won the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship for the second straight season and earned a No. 15 seed in the tournament for the second straight year as well.

“I’m so excited about playing Texas,” said head coach Freda Freeman-Jackson told bamastatesports.com. “This is a team we never played before so I know we have our work cut out for us.”

The Longhorns finished the regular season and the Big 12 tournament in second place, behind Baylor. Texas beat six AP Top-25 teams this season, including two ranked in the top-10.

Alabama State closed out its regular-season on a three-game winning streak and added three more victories in the SWAC tournament, putting the Lady Hornets on a six-game winning streak entering the NCAA tournament.

This season the Longhorns earned 28 overall victories, marking the most by a Texas team since the 2003-04 season. The Horns also finished with 15 regular season conference wins, tying the 2002-03 team for the school’s record.

Texas is hosting the first two rounds of the tournament with BYU and Missouri kicking off action on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Longhorns match up against the Lady Hornets follows with a tentative start time of 8 p.m. CT. Both games will be broadcasted on ESPN2.

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