No March Madness: Gonzales, Texas singles ECU

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Shaylee Gonzales scored 20 points and No. 4 Texas rolled to a 79-40 victory over No. 13 East Carolina on Saturday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on the Longhorns’ home court.

Texas rallied from a poor start to the season to earn the role of hosting the first two rounds and made quick work of the Pirates. Taylor Jones had 16 points, eight rebounds and five blocks for Texas (26-9).

The Longhorns raced to a 45-24 halftime lead with Rori Harmon’s eight first-half assists fueling the Texas offense.

Gonzales, a graduate transfer from BYU and last season’s West Coast Conference player of the year, did three consecutive baskets in the opening minutes of the third quarter which pushed her over 2,000 points for her career. Texas led by 33 to start the fourth.

Texas advanced to Monday’s second round with No. 5 Louisville (24-11), which beat No. 12 Drake 83-81 previous Saturday.

Danae McNeal led East Carolina (23-10) with 13 points in the Pirates’ first NCAA Tournament game since 2007.

Gonzales is the only Longhorn to start every game this season as the Longhorns were hit by a series of injuries. Ranked No. 3 to start the season, Texas quickly fell out of the top 25 entirely as injuries mounted.

Texas looks healthy enough now as the Longhorns moved within one win of the Sweet 16 for the third straight year.


East Carolina: The Pirates hope to become tournament regulars after such a long drought for the program. Coach Kim McNeill has a foundation to build on with guard Amiya Joyner, the American Athletic Conference freshman of the year, and junior guard Synia Johnson, who was the conference tournament’s most valuable player.

See also  Buenos Aires Times | Mercosur tensions rise as Uruguay seeks trade deal outside the bloc

Texas: Shooting guard Sonya Morris returned to the court in the first quarter after being sidelined since Feb. 4 with a deep thigh contusion. Morris wore a football-like thigh pad on his right leg. She played just 13 minutes, but made her first shot, a 3-pointer from the right wing. She was Texas’ best 3-point shooter before she got hurt.


Texas plays No. 5 Louisville on Monday. The Cardinals beat Texas 71-63 in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas in December. Harmon missed that game with a toe injury.


AP March Madness coverage: and and

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *