AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas coach Karen Aston sees a confidence in her guards that hasn’t been there before.
One of them, senior Empress Davenport, scored a career-best 23 points Sunday, and No. 5 Texas defeated 14th-ranked Stanford 77-69.
Davenport made consecutive jump shots to give the Longhorns an 11-point lead at the end of the third quarter.
Guards Brooke McCarty and Celina Rodrigo also scored in double figures for Texas.
“I think our guards have a confidence about them that I haven’t seen since I’ve been here,” said Aston, who is in her fourth season at Texas.
Lili Thompson led Stanford (6-2) with 21 points. Erica McCall scored 14, and Brittany McPhee had 12.
McPhee made consecutive 3-pointers to cut a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit to four with 3:34 remaining. But Texas held off the Cardinal by making 14 free throws the rest of the way, including eight by Rodrigo.
“We made some nice runs,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “We’d get close, and they’d get away from us again. I thought our defense let us down.”
Texas also got contributions from its pair of tall, capable centers. Imani Boyette, who is 6-foot-7, had eight points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Kelsey Lang, who’s 6-5, scored eight points, including a pair of free throws with 22 seconds left after grabbing an offensive rebound.
Texas (8-0) extended its regular-season, nonconference winning streak to 22 games, dating to the 2013-14 season. The Longhorns already have victories this season against three teams ranked in the top 20.
“When we put our minds to it, no one can really stop us,” McCarty said.
Davenport scored 15 points, matching her previous career high for an entire game, as Texas took a 39-32 halftime lead.
Davenport’s production enabled Texas to excel without McCarty, who went to the bench with two fouls eight minutes into the game after converting her first three shots. She did not return until the second half.
VanDerveer said nothing worked against Davenport.
“I just don’t think we showed the grit against her,” VanDerveer said. “She got it going; we didn’t have anyone step up and put a stop to it. Part of it is they have a lot of other weapons. You are worried about other people, too.”
Stanford: The Cardinal start four juniors and a sophomore, their first time without a senior in the starting lineup since 2002-03. … The Cardinal’s only other defeat was a 61-58 upset handed to them by Santa Clara on Nov. 23 in Palo Alto.
Texas: The Longhorns made 23 free throws, matching their season high. . Texas has outrebounded seven of eight opponents this season, including Stanford 44-29. . The Longhorns faced three ranked teams in a span of two weeks, defeating then-No. 4 Tennessee and then-No. 8 Mississippi State before meeting Stanford. They don’t play another ranked team until hosting No. 4 Baylor on Jan. 17.
Boyette was honored as a 2015 recipient of the Texas Exes President’s Leadership Award. “Boyette has overcome great obstacles to achieve success on and off the court, while serving as a tremendous role model,” a statement from the school said. “As a survivor of suicide attempts and molestation at a young age, Boyette has used poetry, basketball and her experiences at the University of Texas to overcome a turbulent youth.”
Stanford hosts Tennessee on Wednesday.
Texas hosts Canisius on Wednesday.