AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Nneka Enemkpali had 11 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 3 Texas stayed unbeaten with a tough 61-55 win over West Virginia on Wednesday night.
The Longhorns (13-0, 2-0 Big 12) are off to their best start since the 1985-86 team went undefeated and won the school’s lone national championship.
Four other players scored at least eight points for the Longhorns, who had a 14-point lead cut to four and had to withstand a second-half burst from Bria Holmes, the preseason Big 12 player of the year.
Holmes scored 22 for West Virginia (10-4, 0-2), which won a share of the Big 12 title last season but is off to a rough start, with No. 5 Baylor up next.
Enemkpali had her seventh consecutive double-double, breaking her school record of six.
Texas extended its strong start as the Longhorns, one of the traditional powers in women’s basketball, have re-emerged as a force this season after a decade of middle-of-the-pack finishes in the Big 12.
Texas began the season as the favorite to win the league title and hasn’t disappointed behind the standout play of Enemkpali, the Big 12 rebounding leader. The Longhorns have won their first two Big 12 games for the first time since 2003-04, when they won their last Big 12 title.
The Longhorns looked in complete control in the first half with a 24-10 lead. But 11 Texas turnovers in the half and a 16-8 run pulled the Mountaineers to 32-26 by halftime. Teana Muldrow started the West Virginia rally with a 3-pointer.
Kelsey Lang pushed Texas’ lead to nine early in the second before West Virginia pushed back behind Holmes. She barely beat the shot clock with a 3-pointer that pulled the Mountaineers to 47-42. But given two chances to shave the lead further, a turnover by Tyara Warren and a missed 3-pointer by Holmes kept the rally at bay.
Enemkpali had consecutive blocks, and a layup by Brady Sanders increased the Texas lead back to eight with just under five minutes left before a late layup by Enemkpali made it 61-51.
West Virginia: Holmes, the league’s second-leading scorer, has 1,010 career points, making her the 31st Mountaineers player to pass the 1,000-point milestone. … The Mountaineers were 3 of 19 on 3-pointers.
Texas: West Virginia kept it closer than anyone else on Texas’ home court this season. The Longhorns won their first nine home games by an average of more than 26 points. … The Longhorns played without reserve guard Brianna Taylor, out indefinitely with a bruised left knee. She had been averaging seven points and five rebounds.
West Virginia hosts No. 5 Baylor on Saturday.
Texas visits Iowa State.
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