Brooke McCarty scored 16 points and matched a career-best with eight assists and No. 8 Texas beat TCU 71-58 Saturday night.
The Longhorns (26-2, 15-2 Big 12) can tie Baylor for the conference championship with a win in Waco on Monday night in the final regular season game.
McCarty made four 3-pointers. Senior center Imani Boyette contributed 12 points and nine rebounds.
Zahna Medley led TCU (15-13, 7-10) with 15 points. Jada Butts scored 12.
The Longhorns have won 15 Big 12 games for the first time since 2002-03, when they reached the NCAA Final Four. Texas finished 15-1 that season.
Texas was sloppy at times offensively against TCU, committing 19 turnovers. Coach Karen Aston said players were anxious on senior night.
“We didn’t have a really great flow,” Aston said. “But I absolutely can’t complain about a team that is 26-2.”
Texas struggled in the first quarter but took a 36-27 halftime lead primarily because of McCarty and Brianna Taylor. McCarty had seven points and four assists in the second quarter, and Taylor added six points and two assists.
McCarty ignited the rally with a deft pass to Taylor for a basket inside. Taylor returned the favor, assisting on McCarty’s 3-point basket. McCarty then stole a TCU pass, converting the turnover into a fast-break layup, and followed up with a driving basket.
TCU coach Raegan Pebley said McCarty has multiple assets.
“IQ first and foremost,” Pebley said. “Work ethic and skill. I know she also has tremendous players surrounding her.”
Texas turned five TCU turnovers into eight points in that second quarter. The Longhorns scored six fast-break points in the period.
“Their defense picked up quite a bit,” Pebley said.
Medley initiated a comeback attempt with 10 points in the third quarter, and her driving shot cut the Texas lead to four with 4 minutes remaining in the period. But McCarty responded with a pair of 3-pointers, and Texas finished the period with the same nine-point lead it had at halftime.
Texas received a boost in the third quarter from the 6-foot-7 Boyette, who made four baskets inside over the shorter Horned Frogs.
That effort came after a rough first half in which Boyette put herself in foul trouble and missed a fast-break layup attempt.
“For the record, I was trying to dunk,” Boyette said. “It got a little crazy.”
TCU: The Horned Frogs fell to 2-37 against Texas. TCU has never won a game in Austin. … Senior Zahna Medley’s 15 points left her three short of breaking Sandora Irvin’s career scoring record for TCU.
Texas: Longhorn starters Boyette, Empress Davenport and Brady Sanders each picked up two fouls in the first half and combined to play only 5 minutes of the second quarter. … Sanders started for the first time this season because it was senior night.
The Horned Frogs were without two players who are suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules — starter Veja Hamilton and sub Destynee Hives-McCray. Hamilton averages 10 points a game.
THE STORIES THEY TELL
As senior night approached, Boyette recalled how Texas recruited her to the school twice. Boyette, who is from Los Angeles, signed with Texas when Gail Goestenkors was the coach. Goestenkors resigned before Boyette arrived on campus. Karen Aston took over as coach and brought her staff to Los Angeles to make sure their prized recruit would still become a Longhorn.
“I love Texas, so it didn’t matter,” Boyette said. “They had to convince my dad (Kevin Stafford) more than they had to convince me. When (Aston) was re-recruiting me, she came to Compton, California and sat in an all-black church and participated in a Baptist service, the only white woman there. It was wonderful.”
TCU hosts Kansas on Monday.
Texas is at Baylor on Monday.
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