AUSTIN (KXAN) — Just over 12 hours after knocking of No. 2 seed Maryland, Texas head coach Vic Schaeffer and senior point guard Kyra Lambert were back in front of the media to talk about Tuesday’s Regional Final against South Carolina.
“We walked back into the hotel last night at about 11:15 and I immediately met with my team and told them to please put their phones down and engage the mechanism, shut out all the noise” Schaeffer said.
Unlike after their second round win over No. 3 UCLA, where they had three full days before the Maryland game, this is a much quicker turn around.
“I’m going to tell them (later this morning) I told you to enjoy it last night, but today that’s over. If you’re going to sit around and listen to everybody pat you on the back, think you’ve done something, we’re here now, we’ve won three, let’s go. You’re good enough, I’ve been trying to tell them for months, you’re good enough,” Schaefer said.
How to watch/listen
Texas takes on South Carolina Tuesday at 6 p.m. on ESPN. You can listen to the game through an audio stream on Texassports.com.
The winner will face the winner of Stanford and Louisville in the Final Four Friday.
Another bit of Texas tournament magic
Texas has reasons to be excited after it pulled off just its fourth tournament win as the lower seed in program history with the win over Maryland. Even Drake gave the Longhorns a shoutout on social media.
For Lambert, she could not have scripted this any better. Lambert is playing in her final NCAA tournament in her hometown (Schertz Clemens High School) after transferring from Duke to Texas and not playing the past two years because of knee injuries.
“Honestly, this is a story I couldn’t write, I couldn’t imagine,” said Lambert.
Lambert scored arguably the biggest basket of the game, hitting a breakaway layup after Lauren Ebo poked the ball away from Maryland’s Mimi Collins to give Texas a 59-57 lead with 44 seconds to go in the game.
“I had the easiest job, make the layup. Lauren, that possession, that play, was the play of the game. For her to get that deflection to get that steal. I know the highlight might show me getting the layup, that’s all her, that’s the defensive drills in practice we’ve been doing for so long, just her relying on her fundamentals, that’s playing team defense, that’s how we won the game, just defense,” Lambert said.
Now the Longhorns turn their attention to the No. 1 seed in the Hemisfair Region, South Carolina, who beat Georgia Tech 76-65 on Sunday to advance.
Not only did Schaeffer have to battle the Gamecocks in SEC play during his time at Mississippi State, he lost to Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks in the NCAA Championship game in Dallas in 2017.
The Longhorns are back in the Elite Eight for the first time since 2016 when they lost to eventual national champion Connecticut. Texas is looking for their first trip to the Final Four since the 2002-2003 season.