AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Jatarie White scored 17 points and No. 2 seed Texas used an overwhelming first half to romp to an 83-54 win over No. 15 Maine in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Saturday night.

Hosting the first two rounds for the third consecutive year, Texas smothered the America East Conference tournament champions from the opening tip. The Longhorns led 45-18 by halftime with a combination of dominant rebounding and speed in transition led by guards Lashann Higgs and Brooke McCarty. Higgs scored 15 and Ariel Atkins scored 16 for Texas.

The Longhorns (27-6) didn’t let Maine (23-10) even grab a rebound the first eight minutes. Higgs had 11 points and Atkins scored 10 by halftime as the Longhorns emptied their bench early in the second quarter. Texas shot 68 percent and outrebounded Maine 25-4 in the first half.

Atkins, Higgs had their pick of shots near the basket or on 3-pointers. By midway through the third quarter, those three combined for 16 of 20 shooting.

The Longhorns advanced to the second round for the fifth straight season and another win would send them to the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive year. Maine hadn’t been to the tournament since 2004. Tanesha Sutton scored 16 points to lead the Black Bears.



Maine: Maine starts four foreign-born players but ran into a problem that translates to any basketball court in the country: Texas was just too big and too fast at every position. But the Black Bears start three sophomores, a freshman and a junior and will expect to be one of the favorites from their conference to return to the tournament with more experience next year.

Texas: With guards taller than half the Black Bears’ starting lineup, the Longhorns really weren’t tested anywhere on the court. That won’t be the case when Texas faces No. 7 seed Arizona State in Monday’s second round when the Longhorn’s front court will face a lineup as big and athletic as they are under the basket.


Texas plays Monday night against Arizona State, which advanced with a 73-62 win over Nebraska on Saturday.

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