AUSTIN, Texas — Charli Collier was a bit player last season for Texas, a slow-developing freshman from Barbers Hill High School despite her status as one of the top recruits in the country.
Now she’s turning into a star, as No. 1 Stanford found out on Sunday.
Texas became the first unranked women’s team to beat the top-ranked squad since January, getting 20 points and a career-best 19 rebounds from Collier to knock off Stanford 69-64.
The Longhorns (7-4) beat the No. 1 team for the first time since 2004, snapping a string of 13 defeats. Stanford (10-1) became the second top-ranked team to lose this season, after then-No. 1 Oregon fell to Louisville on Nov. 30.
The 6-foot-5 Collier averaged just 5.9 points and and 4.3 rebounds in 14.4 minutes last season. Including Sunday’s game, she’s giving the Longhorns 14.9 points and 11.4 rebounds in 31.7 minutes this season.
“I felt like I gotta step up,” Collier said. “I’m not a freshman anymore. I’m a sophomore. I’m a key player on the team.”
Joyner Holmes had 13 points and eight rebounds for Texas. Sug Sutton scored 12 points for Texas, including two free throws with 4 seconds remaining, and Celeste Taylor added 10. Jada Underwood snagged 10 rebounds, including seven of Texas’ 19 offensive boards.
Collier made a putback and a free throw to give Texas a 61-60 lead with 3:09 left. Then she made a shot in the lane with 2:28 remaining for a three-point lead. Holmes added two more free throws at the 1:38 mark.
Stanford fell behind 35-26 at halftime after trailing the entire first two quarters.
The Cardinal began the second half with a 7-0 push, but Collier responded with a pair of 3-pointers.
Texas coach Karen Aston said her team was resilient.
“I think the thing I’m most proud of is they are beginning to learn how to play 40 minutes,” Aston said. “Reset themselves when things don’t go well.”
In 2018, then-Barbers Hill senior Collier was named District 21-5A MVP following a season in which she led the Lady Eagles to the regional quarterfinals. She is also a finalist for the Naismith National Player of the Year after scoring 1,252 points this season. She ended her career with 3,526.
She finished her senior year averaging 23.9 points per game, 10 rebounds three blocks and 3.1 steals. She shot 56 percent from the field on two-pointers and 30 percent from the three-point line.
The Longhorns are 6-26 all-time against teams ranked No. 1 in the AP poll. Their last win against a top-ranked team was on Nov. 25, 2004, when they were ranked fourth and beat Tennessee in Austin. Since then, eight of the Longhorns’ 13 defeats against No. 1 were handed to them by Big 12 Conference rival Baylor.
Texas is at home against Northwestern State on Dec. 29.