AUSTIN, Texas (AP)Charli Collier was a bit player last season for Texas, a slow-developing freshman despite her status as one of the top recruits in the country.
Now she’s turning into a star, as No. 1 Stanford found out on Sunday.
Texas became the first unranked women’s team to beat the top-ranked squad since January, getting 20 points and a career-best 19 rebounds from Collier to knock off Stanford 69-64.
The Longhorns (7-4) beat the No. 1 team for the first time since 2004, snapping a string of 13 defeats. Stanford (10-1) became the second top-ranked team to lose this season, after then-No. 1 Oregon fell to Louisville on Nov. 30.
The last unranked team to beat the No. 1 team was North Carolina, which topped Notre Dame on Jan. 27.
The 6-foot-5 Collier averaged just 5.9 points and and 4.3 rebounds in 14.4 minutes last season. Including Sunday’s game, she’s giving the Longhorns 14.9 points and 11.4 rebounds in 31.7 minutes this season.
”I felt like I gotta step up,” Collier said. ”I’m not a freshman anymore. I’m a sophomore. I’m a key player on the team.”
Joyner Holmes had 13 points and eight rebounds for Texas. Holmes missed four minutes of the fourth quarter with a recurring left ankle injury. She was helped off the court and into the locker room.
”In the heat of the moment, it hurt,” Holmes said.
She returned with 5:32 remaining and stole an inbounds pass by Alyssa Jerome with less than 4 seconds left at Texas’ defensive end, dribbling in for the final basket.
Sug Sutton scored 12 points for Texas, including two free throws with 4 seconds remaining, and Celeste Taylor added 10. Jada Underwood snagged 10 rebounds, including seven of Texas’ 19 offensive boards.
”They were more aggressive than we were,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.
Collier made a putback and a free throw to give Texas a 61-60 lead with 3:09 left. Then she made a shot in the lane with 2:28 remaining for a three-point lead. Holmes added two more free throws at the 1:38 mark.
Lexie Hull led Stanford with 17 points, including 13 in the second half. Kiana Williams scored 15 – 12 in the second half – including two free throws with 48 seconds left. Francesca Belibi made a layup with 5 seconds left before Sutton was fouled.
Stanford fell behind 35-26 at halftime after trailing the entire first two quarters.
The Cardinal began the second half with a 7-0 push, but Collier responded with a pair of 3-pointers.
Texas coach Karen Aston said her team was resilient.
”I think the thing I’m most proud of is they are beginning to learn how to play 40 minutes,” Aston said. ”Reset themselves when things don’t go well.”
Stanford: The Cardinal’s 31.7% field goal accuracy was by far their worst of the season. Stanford continued to play good defense. The Cardinal began the game ranked No. 6 nationally in field goal defense, limiting opponents to 31.1% accuracy. Every team that’s faced Stanford has shot less than 40%. Texas hit 38.6%, including 22.2% in the second half.
Texas: The Longhorns began the day ranked No. 152 nationally in turnovers committed with 16 a game. They committed 24 on Wednesday during a win over Ohio University. Texas had just eight giveaways during a win at then-No. 17 Tennessee in early December and 11 against Stanford, including four in the first half.
Stanford began the season ranked No. 3 and ascended to the top spot after No. 1 Oregon and No. 2 Baylor lost. The Cardinal will cede that spot this week. Texas, No. 15 in the preseason, did not get any votes last week but now has a chance to return to the rankings.
TEXAS AGAINST NO. 1
The Longhorns are 6-26 all-time against teams ranked No. 1 in the AP poll. Their last win against a top-ranked team was on Nov. 25, 2004, when they were ranked fourth and beat Tennessee in Austin. Since then, eight of the Longhorns’ 13 defeats against No. 1 were handed to them by Big 12 Conference rival Baylor.
Stanford is home against UC Davis on Saturday.
Texas is at home against Northwestern State on Dec. 29.
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