Texas found its sea legs with a three-game winning streak to close out January. So the Horns ran into basketball karma.
Let’southward face it: Nobody was going into Lubbock last Tuesday and coming out victorious. Non the way Texas Tech built up that moment, and not the way the Red Raiders played.
Maybe that was just a i-off. No. 23 Texas quickly got back on the winning side of the ledger with Sabbatum’s 63-41 blowout of No. 20 Iowa Land. It wasn’t an ideal start but a rather stunning finish as the Longhorns hit six second-half 3-pointers, turning a squeaker into a rout at the Erwin Center.
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“In the second half, they did a great job spacing united states of america out, making shots, put us on our heels defensively, and they controlled the game from that indicate in,” Iowa Land charabanc T.J. Otzelberger said.
Texas (17-6, 6-4 Big 12) has won four of its last five, has two wins over Top 25 teams and — at least for now — has four Quad ane wins as other teams ascent and autumn. The hiccup at Texas Tech aside, coach Chris Beard’s squad is gathering steam equally UT powers into Mon’s date with No. 10 Kansas.
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“But the next game. Adjacent game on the schedule. Continue to play hard,” Texas guard Andrew Jones said. “As long equally we become out there and exist aggressive and we’re applying pressure, we’re hard to beat. We can beat virtually anybody in the country.”
As a alive-in-the-moment guy, Beard usually doesn’t like to await too far ahead. All the same, “Kansas is pretty good. They’re having another good season. We’ll have to play really well,” he said.
“What do nosotros have to work on? Just being the states,” Beard added. “It’due south not really virtually the opponent. We feel like if we play Texas basketball game, we tin can probably play with anybody.”
Saturday’s game confronting the Cyclones (16-7, 3-7) was ane of those Jekyll-and-Hyde moments that left you questioning how skilful the Horns might or might not be.
At times in the first half, the offense was just plain hard to sentinel. Texas jumped out to a quick 10-3 atomic number 82 as Courtney Ramey and Jones both hit three-pointers. But then the Horns began one of their patent-awaiting scoreless droughts.
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Dylan Disu missed a dunk attempt and and then missed another from point-blank range. Tre Mitchell, playing on a bum ankle, threw a bad laissez passer at a teammate’s anxiety, and the brawl went out of bounds. Timmy Allen missed a iii-pointer and some other shot closer. While all this was happening, Iowa Land’s Izaiah Brockington was slicing upwards the lane as the visitors went upwardly 20-xvi.
Marcus Carr’southward baseline jumper with 6 minutes, 5 seconds remaining was just Texas’ third field goal in well-nigh 10 minutes. Mitchell’s spin move and score off the block got the Horns back inside one.
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And therein lies one of this squad’s strengths. Even when the offensive motor isn’t rolling over, much less starting, the Longhorns tend to hang around because of their defense.
“There accept been some times where obviously we’re non keeping the other squad from scoring,” Beard said. “Merely it’southward non because nosotros’ve inverse our buy-in or identity. I hateful, nosotros want to be a team that can win in March. And nosotros desire to exist a team that can win games when it matters nearly, and to do that you have to have a defense.”
Just hang in in that location and, hopefully, the pistons will start firing. Certain enough, Carr got it going with a lob pass to Christian Bishop for a douse just earlier halftime. Carr followed that with a 3-arrow, giving UT a 25-23 lead and energizing the 13,656 fans in the house.
“It certainly got them going,” Otzelberger said.
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Carr opened the second one-half with another iii-pointer.
“When Marcus is aggressive, confident and loose,” Jones said, “when he has the right mindset and is attacking, we’re all going to follow arrange and bring that same type of energy.”
Brock Cunningham, making just his 2nd career start, scored on a opposite layup. Bishop scored. Ramey blasted a 3-arrow, Jones followed with not one, not ii, just three 3-pointers — stopping to admire the last one, which gave Texas a 47-36 lead.
Even Mitchell rang upwards a 3-pointer, proving to coaches he’s ready no thing the circumstances. Beard said Mitchell turned his talocrural joint in practice, only the 6-human foot-nine forward notwithstanding had half dozen points, ii rebounds and one help. Mitchell might non have been 100%, Beard said, “but he is 100% endeavour and buy-in.”
In one case the Horns got it rolling, fifty-fifty the crazy plays worked out. Ramey threw a laissez passer to a cutting Timmy Allen, who most lost the brawl in the paint. He corralled it and slipped it to Bishop for a douse. Texas was on an 11-0 run and led past 13 with 8:25 remaining.
Carr finished with xiv points, v rebounds and a flavour-loftier 8 assists. Jones also had 14 points while Bishop added 10. Allen had a team-high eight rebounds. Texas shot 43.ix% overall with 12 turnovers, two of which came in garbage time.
“It’south not annihilation they did special,” Iowa Land forrard George Conditt said. “We can’t allow our bad offense affect our defense at all.”
The Cyclones sure enjoyed their 79-70 win over the Longhorns in Ames on Jan. 15. This time around, non and so much.
“I think today it probably wouldn’t take mattered who our opponent was,” Bristles said. “If we play like that in the second half, we could play with anyone in the state.”
Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or @BDavisAAS.