Texas (2-0) routed Northwestern State (1-2) 86-33 Wednesday in front of thousands of screaming elementary and intermediate school students at the Frank Erwin Center.
Children from 48 Central Texas schools trekked to Austin for the annual 40 Acres Field Trip. Before the game, Texas Athletics encouraged the students in attendance to pursue higher education.
“I thought the crowd energized us from the very get,” head coach Karen Aston said. “It’s a special game for our player involvement with the community.”
Senior center Imani Boyette impressed the youngsters by scoring eight of her 25 points in the first five minutes of the game. Northwestern State freshman forward Emerald Mayfield, who stands at 5 feet 11 inches, proved no match for 6-foot-7-inch Boyette.
Boyette finished 12-of-13 from the floor while snagging 14 rebounds. Texas out-rebounded the opposition 47-18.
Sophomore guard Brooke McCarty came off a career high in points against UTSA and notched 15 more on 6-of-11 shooting. Junior guard Brianna Taylor added 11 points off the bench.
Entering the game with Texas leading 10-4, Taylor dove into the first row after successfully throwing the ball out of bounds off a Northwestern State player.
On consecutive plays, Taylor then drew a charging foul and banked in a mid-range jumper after securing an offensive rebound. She canned a three on the Longhorns’ next trip down the floor, extending the Texas lead to 15-6.
“My role coming off the bench is to bring energy and help us get going,” Taylor said. “Now, I’m more comfortable in that role. I’m embracing it.”
The Longhorns strung together a stretch of 26 consecutive points, swelling the lead to 43-11. A Northwestern State free throw with 3:08 remaining in the second quarter ended the scoreless streak.
Beginning the second half trailing 49-12, Northwestern State rattled off eight points in a row, but Boyette got Texas going with a jumper to make it 51-20.
The Texas defense surrendered 15 points in the third quarter — more than it gave up in the first two quarters. The Longhorns tightened up in the final frame, only giving up six.
Both Aston and Boyette, however, said it’s the Texas offense that has been the most impressive in the Longhorns’ first two games.
“It’s always been the narrative about Texas that ‘they can’t score,’” Boyette said. “We made a really big focus on that in the offseason, so nobody can say that anymore.”
Boyette needs eight points to become the 38th player in Texas history to reach 1,000 career points. Texas heads to Houston on Saturday to take on Rice at 2 p.m.