LAS VEGAS — During the first three games of the season, the Texas Longhorns were putting big numbers up on offense, averaging 105 points, second in the nation.
On Friday against LSU, the No. 2 Longhorns seemed on a slow cruise control with a lead in the teens for most of the game. Add to that, the Longhorns turned it over 23 times against a feisty LSU team at the Las Vegas Shootout on Friday.
With all their problems, it was enough for a 75-66 win at the South Point Arena.
“Our guards were a little passive, and I thought our turnovers were from being passive,” Texas coach Karen Aston said. “We talked about (our) charges and that we need to make that extra pass. We had a lead and said let’s see how many points (LSU) is going to score.”
Ariel Atkins scored 17 points while Jatarie White added 14 points to lead Texas (4-0), which never trailed.
Atkins, who had four steals, made six of her eight attempts from the field.
Lashann Higgs added 13 points while Brooke McCarty had 11 points for the Longhorns.
“I subbed probably a little bit too early, but some of it is on them,” Aston said. “I was trying to get some different players some playing time, but they did not respond that well.”
Chloe Jackson scored a season-high 23 points and Raigyne Louis added 20 for LSU (2-3).
“I told them, ‘this is your moment,'” LSU coach Nikki Fargas said. “I was proud of my girls’ effort. I thought our defensive effort was good. I thought we fought on the boards. We missed a lot of layups and we had a very small margin of error. When you got those looks, you’ve got to knock them down.”
The Longhorns scored the game’s first six points and jumped to a 16-4 advantage five minutes into the game. LSU responded with a 9-0 run, but never came closer as the Longhorns led 41-28 at intermission. The lead never got below nine in the second half.
Both teams back-to-back here Friday and Saturday. Texas plays Washington.
“If we don’t play better defense than we did down the stretch today, it ain’t going to be pretty,” Aston said. “They shoot the ball well.”
Texas: This was the Longhorns’ first road game against a Power 5 team this season. Coming into Friday, Texas was second in the nation in offensive output with 105.0 points. Also before Friday, Atkins was fourth in the country in field-goal percentage.
LSU: This was the second road game for the Tigers, who are now 0-2. Louis’ streak of 20 consecutive double-doubles ended Friday with only four rebounds. She now needs nine assists to become the fifth Lady Tiger with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 steals, and 275 assists.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: LSU kept it close with rebounding, only losing 34-33, and 20-18 on the offensive boards.
SERIES HISTORY: The teams have split eight previous games against each other. The teams last met in 2004 NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 as the Tigers won 71-55.
Texas: The Longhorns will take on Washington Saturday in the Thanksgiving Shootout.
LSU: plays Saint Louis Saturday in the Shootout.