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No. 5 Texas downs No. 14 Stanford; hooks 3rd win against ranked opponent

Empress Davenport commands Longhorns offense to compile a career-high 23 points

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

She will no longer be labeled just a defensive stopper. Empress Davenport commanded the Longhorns' offense to score a career-high 23 points as No. 5 Texas collected its third win against a ranked opponent this season, defeating No. 14 Stanford, 77-69.

Davenport quickly matched her career-high with 15 points in the first half to lead Texas (8-0) to a 39-32 edge over Stanford (6-2). Davenport shot 6-of-10 from the field, while the Longhorns shot 50 percent as a team before halftime.

Stanford started off with a 3-0 advantage — its largest in the first half — as Karlie Samuelson hit a 3-pointer to open up the scoring. Texas answered with a quick 7-0 run via a 1-for-2 Brianna Taylor trip to the free throw line, a Brooke McCarty jumper, and layup and a Davenport layup.

Falling behind an early 7-3 deficit, the Cardinals quickly recovered on a 6-0 spurt to take their last lead of the half. A Lili Thompson basket capped the run at 9-7 before Texas took control for what remained.

The Longhorns jumped out to a 13-9 advantage with 3:29 left in the quarter to secure the four-point lead they carried into the second period.

At the end of the first quarter, Davenport totaled eight points in McCarty's absence due to foul trouble with two. The big start led to an even bigger game for the senior guard.

Propelled by momentum, Texas started the second period on a 7-0 run to bury Stanford under a 16-27 deficit  — it's largest of the game to that point — on a Davenport drive in transition. The basket marked 13 total points for Davenport, which was good enough to already be considered a season-high performance with 8:22 left before halftime.

The 11-point cushion was Texas' greatest advantage of the half. It traded baskets with Stanford to maintain the edge until reaching a 31-20 lead. The Longhorns shot 54 percent as a team to that point.

Erica McCall hit consecutive baskets for a 4-0 run to bring Standford within seven points at 31-24 before Lashann Higgs broke it up, going 1-of-2 at the charity stripe.

Although she had been silent through the beginning of the game, Brittany McPhee drained back-to-back 3-pointers to bring Stanford within two points of Texas at 32-30. Thompson set up both baskets on a steal and a defensive rebound to get the ball to McPhee in transition on both attempts. McPhee's second basket capped a 10-1 Stanford run.

Texas paced a 7-2 spurt in response as Davenport matched her career high to go into halftime with 15 points as the Longhorns led 39-32.

Before the break, Texas outrebounded Stanford 24-11 and gave up no offensive rebounds to the Cardinals.

After the halftime intermission, both teams tightened up and rather than being a game of runs it turned into traded baskets. The Longhorns finally jumped ahead nine points as Davenport pushed her total to 17 points at 50-41. However, the Cardinals cut the lead to the smallest margin since the first quarter, separating themselves by only four points, 52-48.

Texas closed the period with its only run, 7-0, and led 59-48 as Davenport closed with back-to-back baskets.

Davenport finished the quarter with 21 points and scored one basket in the fourth to total a career-high 23 points on the game, shooting 9-of-17 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line.

Texas jumped ahead to its largest lead of the game at 63-50 early in the fourth quarter, but Stanford stalled the run with three consecutive 3-pointers to cut the score back within four, 63-59. Thompson hit the first, while McPhee hit back-to-back baskets from beyond the arc.

The Longhorns built their edge back to nine points as Celina Rodrigo went 3-of-4 and Davenport went 2-of-2 from the free throw line. With a little over a minute left the Cardinals cut the score back within five points, but that would be as close as they'd come to the Longhorns.

Going 5-of-6 from the line in the final minute of the game, Rodrigo had things together for Texas and also reached double figures with 11 points. McCarty, who shot 4-of-8 from the field and 4-of-4 from the foul line, finished with 12 points.

Standford also managed three in double figures as Thompson had 21 points, McCall completed a double-double with 14 points, and 13 rebounds and McPhee shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the three point line to total 12 points.

Texas will host Canisius on Wednesday at 7 p.m., and Stanford will take on No. 16 Tennessee, who fell to the Longhorns 64-53 two weeks ago, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in Stanford, California.