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Gonzales leads short-handed No. 10 Texas past Cincinnati 67-50

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Shaylee Gonzales had 13 points and six rebounds while subbing for Madison Booker at point guard, and No. 10 Texas beat Cincinnati 67-50 on Saturday.

Aaliyah Moore had 16 points for Texas (19-3, 6-3 Big 12), which bounced back nicely after a 91-87 loss to Oklahoma on Wednesday night. Taylor Jones added 13 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks.

Booker, the Longhorns' starting point guard, suffered a hamstring injury in practice on Friday. The 6-foot-1 freshman is averaging 20.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists in Big 12 games, leading Texas in all three categories in conference play.

Coach Vic Schaefer said Booker tweaked a lingering hamstring issue while “stepping wrong.” He gave no timetable for her return.

“I hope it's day to day," Schaefer said. "We're gonna be really careful with that. She'll be getting three and four treatments a day.”

Gonzales has not played much point guard at Texas. The senior had three assists against just one turnover against Cincinnati.

“I was ready for it,” Gonzales said. “I was prepared. I was confident.”

After beginning the season at small forward, Booker shifted to point guard when Rori Harmon suffered a season-ending knee injury in December.

With Harmon and Booker out, Schaefer moved Gonzales from shooting guard to the point. Gonzales scored 10 points, matching her average per game, as Texas took a 30-23 halftime lead.

Cincinnati trailed by just five midway through the third quarter, but Texas finished the period with an 11-0 run and led 50-34.

Reagan Jackson and A'riel Jackson led Cincinnati (10-9, 2-6) with 10 points each. The Bearcats shot 33.3% (19 for 57) from the field and committed 14 turnovers.

Jillian Hayes, the leading scorer and rebounder for Cincinnati this season, played just 15 minutes because of foul trouble. She fouled out with 6:31 remaining, finishing with five points and four rebounds. Starter Malea Williams fouled out after playing just 14 minutes.

Texas converted 23 of 29 free throws, while Cincinnati made 9 of 12.

Coach Katrina Merriweather noted the free-throw discrepancy.

“I think that we can do a better job of of not fouling,” Merriweather said. “And I also think that there’s some times where maybe we didn’t make it as clear (to the officials) or obvious that we were being fouled.”

Texas surprised Cincinnati by deploying a 3-2 zone defense to avoid foul trouble. Schaefer hates zone defense and rarely uses one.

“It's like poison, man,” Schaefer said. “But I think my kids were pretty fired up about it.”

BIG PICTURE

Cincinnati: The Bearcats have struggled to shoot the ball all season long. They usually make up for that issue on the glass, but they finished with just 10 offensive rebounds and six second-chance points.

Texas: The Longhorns have been hit hard by injuries. In addition to losing Harmon and, temporarily, Booker, forward DeYona Gaston has missed 13 games in two stints with ankle injuries. She did not play against Cincinnati. Jones missed four games with a hip injury.

A PLEASING EFFORT

Schaefer, who made his team watch video of its poor defense during the Oklahoma loss at 5 a.m. the next morning, praised the Longhorns' effort against Cincinnati.

“Our kids were so special today,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

UP NEXT

Cincinnati: At Houston on Tuesday.

Texas: At No. 13 Baylor on Thursday.

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AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball