AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Kelsey Lang scored a career-best 20 points to help sixth-ranked Texas beat Texas-Pan American 72-45 on Wednesday night.
Lang, a 6-foot-5 sophomore center, set her previous high mark less than a week ago, scoring 14 as the Longhorns upset Stanford on Nov. 20. She was 10 of 13 from the field.
Brady Sanders and Tasia Foman scored 10 points apiece for Texas (4-0). Another guard, Brianna Taylor, led the Longhorns in rebounds with 11.
Shwante’ Goff led Pan American with 15 points.
UTPA (3-3) had played then-No. 5 Texas A&M tough 10 days earlier in Chicago before losing by two. But they were never competitive against Texas. The Broncs didn’t make their first basket until 4:26 into the game. They had missed their first five shots, committed two turnovers, and trailed 9-0.
By halftime, Texas held a 34-17 lead that was primarily the product of tenacious defense and Pan American’s inability to score. The Broncs shot 28 percent and committed 11 turnovers in the half.
The Longhorns weren’t very effective on offense, either, shooting 36 percent in the half with 10 turnovers.
The culprits for Texas were its guards, who combined to hit 5 of 22 shots. The post players were another matter, though. Lang and forward Nneka Enemkpali combined to make 8 of 13 shots.
Lang hit all five of her shots in the second half, exceling in a new role for her this season. Imani McGee-Stafford, the Longhorns’ 6-7 junior center, is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery for a stress fracture in her left leg. Lang, McGee-Stafford’s backup, is now the starter.
Texas-Pan American: Nobody can say that Texas-Pan American is ducking some top competition. The Broncs will also face No. 13 Baylor on Jan. 3.
Texas: Sophomore reserve forward Nekia Jones was cleared to play after being held out of games at Stanford and UCLA due to an unspecified health concern. Jones’ playing status, for this season and beyond, was in jeopardy until she was cleared. Jones did not play on Wednesday. She had eight points and 10 rebounds in 16 minutes in the season-opener against Texas-San Antonio.
Texas-Pan American hosts Houston Baptist on Saturday.
Texas hosts Tennessee on Sunday.
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