Kelsey Lang scores 12 points to lead No. 9 Texas in season opener

AUSTIN, Texas -- Kelsey Lang has more responsibility these days, which she says will require a more intelligent approach to basketball.

With Texas' star center Imani McGee-Stafford sidelined indefinitely by a stress fracture in her left leg, Lang has gone from backup to starter. On Saturday, Lang scored all 12 of her points in the first half during a 68-48, season-opening victory over Texas-San Antonio. But Lang played only six minutes in the second half, picking up four fouls during that span and fouling out. She did not score in the period.

"I definitely have to have a different mindset with (McGee-Stafford) out," Lang, a sophomore, said. "No defensive player wants to get scored on. I need to learn how to play with three and four fouls because my team is going to need me. I have to be smart and not go for blocks that I can't get. I can't push and shove post players that I'm guarding."

Texas guards Brianna Taylor and Empress Davenport scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, all of Davenport's coming in the second half.

UTSA was missing four injured players, including two starters. Freshman Carlie Heineman led UTSA with 15 points, hitting five 3-pointers.

"I need her to shoot more, obviously," UTSA coach Lubomyr Lichonczak said.

Both teams played incredibly sloppy basketball, UTSA with 28 turnovers and Texas with 23.

Lang led Texas to a 31-15 halftime lead. The 6-foot-5 Lang converted six of eight shots in the half. She scored so efficiently that other facets of her game might have gone unnoticed: five rebounds, two blocks and two steals in the half.

The Longhorns could have assumed a much bigger halftime lead, considering they shot 50 percent. But they hurt themselves with 12 turnovers, an issue that is not new for them. They averaged more than 18 a game last season, the most in the Big 12 Conference.

UTSA was even worse, though, turning the ball over 16 times in the half while hitting just five of 21 shots -- 23.8 percent accuracy.

The Roadrunners went 6 minutes, 26 seconds without scoring during the half and 7:48 without a field goal.

Texas fashioned a 17-0 run during the time UTSA couldn't make a basket from the field or free throw line.

UTSA cut the 16-point halftime deficit to three midway through the second half. Davenport and Taylor were largely responsible for restoring order. Lang mostly watched from the bench.

"Kelsey's still young and is going to have to learn that sometimes giving up a basket is better than getting yourself in foul trouble," Texas coach Karen Aston said. "But I'm really pleased where she's at."



Texas: Longhorn guard Brady Sanders missed the game with a right hand injury that she suffered in practice on Friday. She's out indefinitely. Sanders, now a junior, started 28 of the Longhorns' 34 games last season, averaging 7.2 points a game and hitting 37.5 percent of her 3-point shots.

UTSA: Nearly half of the Roadrunners' 16 turnovers in the first half came during a short period. They committed seven during a span of 4:36, starting at the 13:12 mark.


Texas visits Stanford on Thursday

UTSA hosts Abilene Christian on Wednesday


Aston is encouraged by McGee-Stafford's progress. She had surgery on Sept. 5 to reinforce her left tibia after suffering a stress fracture. There is no target date for her return, but Aston seems confident it will be this season. "I think there's a great possibility," Aston said. "We are positively thinking in that direction."


Aston is excited but cautious about her collection of guards. Seven played against UTSA, including freshmen Ariel Atkins, Brooke McCarty and Tasia Foman. "We have a lot of different looking bodies at the guard position that can do a lot of different things," Aston said. "I still think there's a question about how we are gonna shoot the ball. We have a lot of athleticism, and a lot of players who can really motor and get up and down, but who's gonna hit the outside shot for us when it's needed."