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AUSTIN (AP) – Texas coach Karen Aston didn’t remind her team about last season, when the Longhorns arrived at Iowa State with 13-0 record, blew an 18-point first-half lead, and lost by two.
“I’m sure they knew,” Aston said.
Indeed they did. The No. 4 Longhorns, facing Iowa State again with a 13-0 mark, routed the Cyclones 75-54 Wednesday and now have their best start since they were undefeated NCAA champions in 1986.
Brooke McCarty scored 17 points, making five 3-pointers. Imani Boyette had 11 points and season-bests of 17 rebounds and seven blocks for the Longhorns.
Boyette, a 6-foot-7 senior, said she filled in teammates on Iowa State’s dominance of Texas that included six wins in seven games, including three straight.
“I’m the fun fact girl,” Boyette said. “We knew all about it. We knew they stopped our winning streak last year.”
Texas, which has won its first three Big 12 games, made a season-high 11 3-pointers. The Longhorns were just 12 of 59 from behind the arc in their previous four games.
That futility, and a roster reduced by injury and personal issues to eight players, induced Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly to use a sagging defense hoping to prevent Texas from scoring inside.
Aston said Iowa State defended the Longhorns that way last season as well.
“I thought that we would have open shots,” Aston said. “There’s no question that there is a pick your poison type of philosophy where some teams approach our team.”
Seanna Johnson scored 23 points — six more than her average — to lead Iowa State (10-4, 2-1), which saw its eight-game winning streak end. Jadda Buckley was limited to two points, nine fewer than her average. She and Johnson combined to make 8 of 22 shots.
“They were really aggressive,” Johnson said. “Especially on me and Jadda.”
The Longhorns led 38-25 at halftime, but not without enduring some trials along the way. They made five 3-pointers in the first quarter, including three by McCarty, to forge ahead by 15.
Then Texas missed nine straight shots, including a few uncontested layups, enabling Iowa State to cut its deficit to seven late in the second quarter with a 3-pointer by Johnson.
But Boyette responded with five straight points, McCarty made her fourth 3-pointer of the half, and Texas restored most of its early lead by halftime.
The Longhorns stretched their lead to 18 after three quarters – despite missing their first seven shots of the half.
“They are very dynamic at both ends of the court,” Fennelly said. “They played like the No. 4 team in the country.”
Iowa State: Though she is only 5-foot-10, Johnson led the Big 12 with 10.6 rebounds a game before Wednesday, when she grabbed six. Johnson ranks fourth nationally in double-doubles. The players ahead of her, Jillian Alleyne of Oregon, Jonquel Jones of George Washington and Lexi Martins of Lehigh, stand 6-3, 6-4 and 6-0, respectively. … Iowa State has made at least one 3-point basket in 657 consecutive games dating back to Feb. 18, 1995.
Texas: The Longhorns have outrebounded 13 of 14 opponents this season, including Iowa State by 48-40. Texas grabbed 16 offensive rebounds against Iowa State, including five by Imani Boyette.
Texas reserve Ariel Atkins has played in the last five games after returning from off-season right angle surgery, but she has yet to reach the point of unrestricted minutes. Atkins, a starter last season, is capped at about 20 minutes a game. She played 15 minutes against Iowa State, although her time was reduced by early foul trouble.
Iowa State hosts Kansas on Saturday.
Texas is at Oklahoma State on Saturday.
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