Texas’ dream season ends with Elite Eight loss to No. 1 South Carolina

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SAN ANTONIO (KXAN) — Texas basketball’s season-ending, NCAA Tournament loss to No. 1 South Carolina will only be a small blip during an impressive run for the program and first-year Longhorns coach Vic Schaefer.

Texas couldn’t find the magic for another tournament upset, losing to Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks 62-34 Tuesday night in the Elite Eight round from San Antonio’s Alamodome.

South Carolina flipped the script on Texas, using elite defense to force Texas into its lowest-scoring game of the season. Texas’ previous season low was 35 points against Baylor on Feb. 14.

The Longhorns didn’t score a point in the final 12 minutes and 28 seconds. Texas was completely shutout in the fourth quarter.

Texas (21-10) made its deepest tournament run in five years by reaching the region final round for the first time since 2016. The Longhorns haven’t reached the Final Four since the 2002-03 season.

Similar to the Sweet 16 game against Maryland, the Longhorns found themselves in a big hole early, trailing 14-2 after Zia Cooke’s layup at the 5:33 mark of the first quarter. Texas couldn’t get closer than seven in the first half, heading to the locker room with a 37-22 halftime deficit.

The Longhorns pushed South Carolina in the third quarter. Lauren Ebo’s layup near the midway point of the third got the Longhorns to within 10 at 41-31.

From there, Texas only made one basket — a 3-pointer by Audrey Warren — as South Carolina outscored the Longhorns 21-3 to end the game.

Texas beat No. 11 Bradley, No. 3 UCLA and No. 2 Maryland to reach the region final round.

Charli Collier’s final Texas game

Junior Charli Collier played her final game in a Texas Longhorns uniform, opting to forgo her final season of eligibility for the WNBA Draft. Many experts expect Collier to be the No. 1 overall pick for the 2021 draft.

Collier’s final game didn’t do justice to her accomplished college career. The forward got into foul trouble against the Gamecocks and failed to make an impact, scoring four points and collecting four rebounds.

Looking ahead to next season

Texas will lose Collier and graduate transfer guard Kyra Lambert in the offseason, but the rest of the roster should be intact.

Joanne Allen-Taylor and Audrey Warren will be heading into their senior seasons. Celeste Taylor will be a junior.

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