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Zach Pekale | | December 22, 2019

Women's basketball: How unranked Texas beat top-ranked Stanford

See the top buzzer beaters, daggers and half-court prayers in Week 5 women's basketball top plays

The revolving door at No. 1 in the rankings has made its way to women's college basketball as top-ranked Stanford was handed its first loss of the 2019-20 season. The Cardinal — playing their first road contest outside of the Bay Area — were upended in Austin by unranked Texas, 69-64. 

This is the second time in as many years an unranked opponent has knocked off the No. 1 team, with Texas joining North Carolina in that category. It is also Texas' first win over an Associated Press No. 1 since it beat Tennessee in 2004.

Here's how the Longhorns came away with the upset.

A bumpy road 

Through 10 games, Stanford hadn't played a true road game away from Northern California. A pair of five-point wins — against California Baptist and Mississippi State — at a neutral site invitational in Canada unveiled some potential concerns.

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The Erwin Center was the first truly hostile environment the Cardinal have played in this year — and it showed. Stanford's 64 points and 31.7 percent shooting were well below its season averages of 81. 9 points and 47.3 percent. This loss should serve as a valuable learning experience for some of the Cardinal's underclassmen before Pac-12 play begins.

Down, but not out

Texas led by nine at the break, an advantage that reached double digits at one point. However, Stanford's response in the third quarter proved to be a turning point. The Cardinal outscored Texas 21-11 in the frame, temporarily finding an offensive rhythm in transition while neutralizing the Longhorns' aggressiveness on the glass.

For much of the quarter, Texas was without forward Joyner Holmes, who exited after a hard fall. She returned to the floor to finish with 13 points and eight rebounds.

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Can't stop Collier

Stanford has out-rebounded opponents by a margin of 10 per game. Charli Collier's career afternoon for Texas made a tremendous difference in the Longhorns winning the battle on the boards and possibly the game. Collier had 20 points to go with a career-high 19 rebounds, six on the offensive glass.

Texas out-rebounded Stanford 48-42. Its persistence to limit additional possessions while creating second and third chance opportunities were integral to the Longhorns' marquee victory.

Next up, the Longhorns faces Northwestern State on Dec. 29. 

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