LEXINGTON, Ky. No. 3 seed Texas goes into their third consecutive Sweet 16 knowing what to expect from second-seeded Stanford.
The Cardinal (30-5) may not know what to expect from the Longhorns (25-8), however, at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the NCAA Tournament regional semifinal at Rupp Arena.
Stanford defeated the visiting Longhorns 71-59 in the season opener. Texas freshman Joyner Holmes, ranked as ESPN’s No. 2 recruit nationally, scored only three points in her college debut.
“My eyes were just really big and I didn’t play my best. I feel like I’ve gotten more comfortable as the season has gone on,” said Holmes, a 6-foot-3 guard/forward from Cedar Hill.
Holmes, a first-team All-Big 12 selection averaging 12 points and 8.2 rebounds a game, made two huge plays in Texas’ 84-80 victory over North Carolina State on Sunday in the second round.
With 8.4 seconds left and Texas leading by one point, Holmes took a charge. And her put-back basket with 5.1 seconds left was the clincher.
Stanford, its 10th straight Sweet 16, won 69-48 Monday night at Kansas State. But when the charter plane for Stanford never arrived Monday night in Manhattan, Kan., because of a parts issue, coach Tara VanDerveer decided her team should go on to Lexington after an extra night in Kansas rather than return home.
Since Stanford is on the quarter system, players had to take final exams in the hotel dining room or conference rooms.
Stanford’s travel challenges started earlier Monday, when the bus transporting the Cardinal to the game broke down several times en route to the arena before eventually coasting down a gradual descent to the loading dock.
Texas women vs. Stanford
8:30 p.m. Friday, ESPN