Jones debuts at 21 as No. 3 Texas stops Louisiana 68-45

Taylor Jones had 21 points and five blocks on her debut for Texas, and the No. 3 Longhorns defeated Louisiana 68-45 on Friday night.

The Longhorns opened their season without their star player, point guard Rori Harmon, who wore a protective boot on her right foot. Coach Vic Schaefer said Harmon has a toe injury. He listed their status as day by day.

“It’s nothing important, Major,” Schaefer said. “She is examined daily.”

Harmon, a sophomore, led Texas to the Big 12 tournament championship last season.

Jones, a 6-foot-4 junior transfer from Oregon State, made 6 of 9 shots from the field 9 of 14 free throws while playing 22 minutes.

“We didn’t have an answer for them,” said Louisiana coach Garry Brodhead.

Texas had a huge inside scale advantage.

“We were a lot bigger than them,” Jones said. “They didn’t have an answer for any of us deep down.”

AUSTIN, TX – NOVEMBER 11: Texas Longhorns guard Sonya Morris (11) is chased by Louisiana Ragin Cajuns guard Sherry Porters during the game featuring the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns and Texas Longhorns on November 11, 2022 at the Moody Center in Austin, TX. (

Shay Holle had 10 points and five steals for Texas, and Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda had 10 points and had six rebounds.

Tamera Johnson led Louisiana (0-2) with 15 points and seven rebounds and Lanay Wheaton had 13.

Neither team was offensive. Texas shot 39% from the field, missing 10 of 11 3-pointers. Louisiana reached 25 percent. Louisiana made 29 turnovers and Texas, without Harmon handling the ball, made 25.

The teams totaled 55 fouls, 28 by Louisiana. Texas made 29 of 38 free throws, Mwenentanda went 8 for 8.

Schaefer was happy with the result, but not with the way it was achieved.

“We’re just not very disciplined and we’re not very tough,” said Schaefer. “It’s on me. I have to train that.”

Texas played for the first time at its $375 million Moody Center, where the Longhorn men won two games earlier in the week.

BIG PICTURE

Louisiana: The Rajin’ Cajuns were picked by the Sun Belt Conference coaches to finish third in the 14-team league. They are coping with the loss of their top marksman, Brandi Williams, to a season-ending knee injury, their second in as many years. Williams converted 45 percent of her 3-point attempts in 2020-21, hitting 7 of 11 in three games last season before being cut short by a knee injury.

Texas: The Longhorns don’t have a pure point guard to replace Harmon. Shaylee Gonzales, BYU’s West Coast Conference player of the year last season, and Sonya Morris, a transfer from DePaul, took the job against Louisiana. Morris left the company in the third quarter with back problems. Kyndall Hunter, Harmon’s Houston high school teammate, was considered a combo guard when she was recruited. Hunter, a sophomore, was away from the Longhorns for a few weeks, but she’s still on the list. Schaefer considers her absence a “personal” matter.

STRONG STRETCH

The shorthanded Longhorns play Monday at No. 6 UConn followed by the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. The event includes No. 5 Tennessee, no. 7 Louisville, No. 23 South Dakota State and UCLA, 27th in votes.

“No one will feel sorry for us,” said Schaefer. “The old thing about you is wounded, people will pursue you even worse.”

NEXT

Louisiana meets Colorado in the Preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament in Lubbock, Texas on Tuesday.

Texas plays Monday at No. 6 UConn.

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