AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Longhorns head coach Vic Schaefer is the Big 12’s women’s basketball coach of the year after helping guide the squad to a share of the regular season conference title with Oklahoma.
It was the first time since 2004 the Longhorns won at least a share of the Big 12 regular season championship, and Schaefer was able to do it despite starters missing a combined 48 games. He’s the first Longhorns coach to win the conference honor since Karen Aston did it in 2017.
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Sophomore point guard Rori Harmon was named the league’s defensive player of the year and transfer guard Shaylee Gonzales was named the newcomer of the year. Harmon is the third Longhorn in conference history to be named the best defender after snatching 2.3 steals per game and helpings the Longhorns lead the Big 12 in turnovers forced per game within 20.8. Texas also led the Big 12 in scoring defense, allowing 57.9 points per game.
Gonzales transferred to Texas from Brigham Young after being named the West Coast Conference player of the year in 2022. She averaged 12.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game to go with a conference-leading 87.1% free throw percentage.
Harmon and DeYona Gaston were named to the all-Big 12 first team, which due to ties in voting had 11 players named to it. Gaston was second in the conference with a 53.1% field goal percentage and she averaged 12.2 points per game. Harmon led the conference in both assists per game at 7.3 and assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.3. Nationally, she ranks fifth in assists per game and 22nd in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Gonzales was a second-team all-Big 12 pick and Amina Muhammed was selected to the all-Big 12 freshman team.
Iowa State’s Ashley Joens was named the Big 12 player of the year and Baylor’s Darianna Littlepage-Buggs was named the freshman of the year. Oklahoma’s Skylar Vann was named the Big 12’s sixth player for being the best player who came off the bench.
With two wins over Oklahoma this season, Texas was awarded the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 tournament. They’ll play either Kansas State or Texas Tech at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals.