Texas guard Rori Harmon was absent Wednesday night from the Longhorns’ 97-52 win over Jackson State.

Head coach Vic Schaefer provided no comment on Harmon’s injury after the game, only telling reporters that it happened during the team shootaround earlier in the day. Harmon, who spent the game on the bench for the Longhorns, appeared to be wearing a brace on her right knee, and she also was walking with a limp.

The junior guard is set to undergo testing Thursday, after which the school will issue a news release on the severity of the injury.

“We’ll know more [Thursday],” Schaefer said. “I don’t really have anything for you right now.”

The coach added that he didn’t say much to the team about Harmon before the game.

“My heart hurts for the kids that are out,” Schaefer said. “These (other) kids deserve my best. I’m proud of my team. They really rose to the occasion.”

Harmon is one of the best two-way guards in the country, with UConn head coach Geno Auriemma even saying that she’s “the best player we’ve played against this year, by far,” after UConn’s 80-68 loss to Texas in early December.

She had 27 points, 13 assists in that game and helped her team hold UConn’s Paige Bueckers to 13 points.

This is not the first time Harmon has been sidelined with an injury. She missed the first five games of the 2022-23 season with a foot injury. But she has established herself as a skilled defender, and she is averaging a team-high 7.8 assists (second in the country) and 3.1 steals per game. She also is averaging 14.1 points and 5.6 rebounds, both good for second on the Texas roster.

“Ain’t nobody on our team play harder than Rori Harmon,” Schaefer told ESPN early in December. “She brings that to the table every day, every practice, every game, and that’s what impacts your team in such a positive way.”

Hailey Van Lith understood the attention surrounding her exchange of words with an opponent in Louisville’s second-round win Monday. But she didn’t agree with it.

Texas guard Sonya Morris led the fourth-seeded Longhorns in the handshake line after a 73-51 loss to the fifth-seeded Cardinals. Morris stopped Van Lith during the procession to say a few words, and then Van Lith brushed off Morris’ arm and replied with a few words of her own as she continued down the line of Texas players.

“I mean that happens in the NBA game every single day,” Van Lith told reporters Thursday. “Just because it was women’s basketball, they’re going to drag it out and it’s a whole deal. But, you know, it really wasn’t a big deal and people are trying to stretch.”

After the game, Van Lith had downplayed the incident, chalking it up to a moment of “frustration” for Texas. But it still spread across social media, with plenty of armchair lip-readers trying to deduce what exactly Morris and Van Lith said as they jawed back and forth.

“I wasn’t surprised, because it’s women’s basketball and people treat us differently all the time,” the Cardinals junior said.

While she takes issue with the public fascination over the incident, though, she is more concerned with her team’s next game: a Sweet 16 meeting with No. 8 seed Ole Miss at 10 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN.

“I’ve moved on from it,” she said. “I’m not on social media, so I don’t know what people are saying…

“But I think if you know me and you watched me, like that actually was a very calm moment for me. So I think that people, I think that people know that I’m a lot more intense than that and I was actually very calm in that moment.”

Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith found herself on the receiving end of some trash talk in the postgame handshake line Sunday, but she had no trouble brushing it off.

“People are sad when they lose,” Van Lith said. “I’d be sad too.”

As her response left unsaid but made perfectly clear, Van Lith had no reason for sadness after No. 5 seed Louisville’s dominant 73-51 win against No. 4 seed Texas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals junior led all scorers with 21 points to help her team clinch a spot in the Sweet 16.

After the game, Longhorns guard Sonya Morris led her team in the handshake line and appeared to stop Van Lith to say a few words. Van Lith paused to listen, then brushed off Morris’ arm and seemed to reply with a few words of her own as she continued down the line of Texas players.

 

 

Following the incident, though, Van Lith chalked the exchange up to a moment of “frustration” for Texas after a tough loss.

“I have all the respect in the world for Texas, no hard feelings,” she said. “You know, sports can get chippy and the moment you play in the heat — at the end of the day I’m going to let it go. No hard feelings.”

Instead, she wanted to focus on her own team’s strong performance.

“I don’t really want to speak on what happened at the end because I don’t want it to dim down the fact that we played really, really well… I’m just proud of our win,” she said.”

Louisville advances to play No. 8 seed Ole Miss at 10 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN. While the Rebels scored a shocking 54-49 upset over No. 1 seed Stanford on Sunday, their win opens up the path to the Elite Eight for the Cardinals.

Van Lith has reached the Elite Eight in each of the first two years of her Louisville carer, and she could make it three in a row with a win Friday.

“Like I’ve been saying this whole tournament, we just need the opportunity, and we got one for next game,” Van Lith said. “So we are going to take advantage of it.”

No. 12 Texas women’s basketball could have secured a share of the Big 12 regular-season title and the top seed in the conference tournament with a win Monday over Baylor. Instead, the Longhorns (22-8) left their home court in disappointment after a 63-54 loss.

Sophomore point guard Rori Harmon and coach Vic Schaefer both called out their team for the lack of effort in the defeat.

“It was pretty painful,” Harmon said. “It doesn’t feel like I’m getting the same energy I’m putting out on the court from some of the team. I almost take that personal. I’m not perfect at all — like, at all. That’s fine because most of the time, I’m going to play hard and it’s going to cover it up.

“When there’s not enough effort and energy, I take that personal because now I feel like you don’t want it anymore. That’s how I felt. And that’s how I feel.”

While Harmon did not have her best game, shooting 5-for-18 from the field, she contributed 12 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. Just three Texas players finished in double digits, including Harmon, guard Shaylee Gonzales (10) and center Taylor Jones (15).

“We kind of had the perfect stage,” Jones said. “We had a chance to win the championship tonight. And we came out dead.”

Texas gave up 17 turnovers in front of a season-high crowd of 10,763 fans at the Moody Center, which did not help a Longhorns roster depleted by injuries. Still, the team holds a half-game lead over Oklahoma and can clinch at least a piece of the Big 12 title with a win in their final game Saturday at Kansas State.

“We just kicked an opportunity to do something cool in front of our fans,” said Schaefer, who described his team as “lackadaisical” against the Bears. “Now are we going to do something about it?”

 

Texas defeated top seed Baylor 67-58 on Sunday to win the program’s first Big 12 tournament title since 2003.

The Longhorns dominated the matchup from the start, controlling the pace of the game and not allowing Baylor to get into a rhythm. Texas took an 11-point lead into halftime after outshooting the Bears 55.6 to 40.9 percent in the first half and forcing eight Baylor turnovers.

Baylor star NaLyssa Smith struggled in the opening two frames, scoring just five points and recording three fouls before leaving the court ahead of halftime with an injury. The senior returned in the second half and finished the game with 21 points and three rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Texas’ charge.

Rori Harmon led the Longhorns with 20 points on 80 percent shooting from the field, while Aaliyah Moore added 12 points and five rebounds off the bench.

The victory is Texas’ second over Baylor since 2011 and puts the Bears’ No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed in jeopardy.