AUSTIN, Texas — Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly enjoys Austin, which he regards as a nice city to visit. He didn’t necessarily look forward to his latest road trip, though.
Texas was blown out at Baylor by 25 points on Thursday, and Fennelly figured the Longhorns would be hungry for redemption.
He was right.
Ariel Atkins scored 15 points, Lashann Higgs added 14 and No. 6 Texas routed Iowa State 87-55 on Saturday night.
“We kind of saw this one coming a little bit,” said Fennelly, whose Cyclones beat Texas in Austin last season. “That’s the sign of a good team.”
Texas coach Karen Aston thought having only one day off between games helped.
“Sometimes it is better to just get back on the horse and not go dwell on something that was that negative,” Aston said. “We probably have to look back at it at some point, but I’m not sure when that will be. We need to keep moving forward.”
Aston might take a look at the Baylor game before Feb. 19, when the Bears play at Texas. For now, forward Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau said, “We didn’t have time to cry or feel sorry for ourselves.”
Jatarie White and Caron-Goudreau, both 6-foot-4, and 6-3 Joyner Holmes contributed 12 points apiece as the bigger, more physical and athletic Longhorns outscored Iowa State 32-20 in the paint.
Holmes had a game-high 11 rebounds, leading Texas (16-4, 7-2 Big 12) to a 40-27 advantage in that category. Holmes often prefers working on the perimeter like a guard, but she maneuvered inside against Iowa State.
“I think it was just recognizing our matchups,” Holmes said. “They had some smalls (players) on us.”
Emily Durr led Iowa State with 20 points, converting seven of 10 field-goal attempts, and Bridget Carleton added 19.
Texas used a 25-1 run against Iowa State bridging the first and second halves. The Cyclones (9-12, 3-7) went a span of 7:37 without a field goal.
“The physicality they play with, we just did not handle that from the opening tip,” Fennelly said. “I told our kids, ‘You’re gonna see a team that is very motivated to play after the other night.’ Their defensive intensity was better than I’ve seen it in a long time.”
Iowa State: The Cyclones have endured a rough patch, losing seven of their last nine games. Part of that might be a function of the schedule. They are going through a stretch of five consecutive games against opponents ranked in the AP Top 25. They lost to Baylor and West Virginia before upsetting No. 19 Oklahoma State on Wednesday in Stillwater. They host No. 24 TCU on Tuesday.
Texas: Holmes, a sophomore, might have given her best performance of the season in 19 minutes. She has struggled since returning in late-December from a semester-long suspension for an unspecified violation of university rules. Holmes, an all-Big 12 player as a freshman, averaged 3.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 12.6 minutes during her first nine games since the suspension was lifted. She hit only 24.5 percent of her shots from the field. Holmes committed six turnovers and missed several layups against Texas Tech.
Fennelly said only two Cyclones players made much of an effort in the game.
“Besides Bridget and Emily Durr, we didn’t have anyone else show up,” Fennelly said. “With the exception of Bridget Carleton, I don’t think Karen is gonna want to trade any of her players for ours.”
Iowa State: hosts TCU on Tuesday in their first meeting of the season. They split two games last season, each winning at home.
Texas: at Kansas on Wednesday. The Longhorns have won 11 straight against the Jayhawks dating to 2013, including a 79-62 victory on Jan. 13 in Austin.