No. 8 Texas loses 75-58 to No. 3 Baylor, Enemkpali hurt
WACO, Texas (AP) — Texas coach Karen Aston has been constantly telling her team that someone else has to help Nneka Enemkpali rebounding the ball.
Now the No. 8 Longhorns might be without their top scorer and rebounder.
Enemkpali injured her left knee while grabbing an offensive rebound in the first half. The 6-foot-1 senior was in obvious pain, clutching her knee and crying out after falling awkwardly to the floor with 5:44 left in the first half of a 75-58 loss at No. 3 Baylor on Monday night.
“Obviously a tough evening for our team,” Aston said.
While Aston said the extent of the injury wasn’t known, “it’s a concern of ours right now. ... She’s going to be out for a little bit. I mean it was significant looking enough that I doubt she will be back tomorrow or the next day.”
Nina Davis scored 25 points and Niya Johnson had 15 points with 12 assists for the four-time defending Big 12 champion Lady Bears (17-1, 6-0 Big 12), who took control with a 10-0 run going into halftime and stretched their winning streak to 16 games.
Brooke McCarty had 14 points for the Longhorns (14-3, 3-3), the preseason Big 12 favorite that has now lost three of four games since a 13-0 start. Kelsey Lang has 12 points and Empress Davenport 10.
“We just addressed that we probably need to do some soul-searching as far as how we’re playing the game right now,” Aston said when asked to explain the longer-than-usual postgame time in the locker room. “it was a little more along those lines than centered around Nneka.”
Texas was down 24-16 when Enemkpali got hurt. Baylor then added a free throw before the Longhorns scored six points in a 32-second span.
Davenport made a jumper with 5:01 left before Krystle Henderson had a steal and an assist to Ariel Atkins on a layup. The Longhorns followed a miss by Imani Wright when Henderson’s assist on Lang’s layup with 4:29 left to get them within 25-22.
They never got closer, missing their next four shots before five turnovers to finish the half.
“We played the game the way we’ve probably been playing it for about two or three weeks now, which is in waves, and that’s not good enough against Baylor or most of the teams in our league,” Aston said. “That was a perfect example of how we have been playing.”
Wright added 11 points for Baylor, including a jumper with 3:03 left to start the half-ending run to go 35-22. Wright also had two assists in the spurt, including her steal that led to a fastbreak layup by Davis.
“This team has probably surprised y’all, but I get to be around them every day,” coach Kim Mulkey said. “While there are still things that aggravate me and frustrate me ... I’m talking about a team that’s too young to know some of the things we need to do to win a national championship and a Big 12 championship. But they give me everything they have on the floor.”
Enemkpali played 12 minutes and had six rebounds, matching Lang for the game-high total. Lang played 34 minutes. ... Aston, in her third season at Texas and eighth overall, has 149 career victories.
Baylor has won 13 consecutive home games. ... Davis had her 11th 20-point game this season. ...
SERIES HAS SWITCHED
Texas still has a 57-30 lead in the series against Baylor, but the Lady Bears have won the last nine games. The Lady Bears are 21-10 in the series, 12-3 at home, in their 15 seasons under coach Kim Mulkey.
NOT HITTING DEEP
The Lady Bears were 0-for-8 on 3-pointers, ending a span of 83 consecutive games with a 3-pointer since Nov. 13, 2012, against Kentucky. Texas finished 2-of-9, and missed its first seven before McCarty hit one with 5:39 left in the game, and another in the final minute.
Texas plays at home Sunday vs. Iowa State.
Baylor is home Saturday against Kansas State.