The Longhorns must be tired of losing close games. They found a way to close out Texas Tech with a 62-58 win at the Erwin Center.
Eric Davis Jr.’s clutch 3-pointer from the right corner with 28.8 seconds left was the highlight shot of a 15-point night and his fourth straight game in double figures. Andrew Jones also hit a free throw with 6.3 seconds left to give the Longhorns (9-13, 3-6 Big 12) a four-point cushion.
The Red Raiders (15-7, 3-6) got 15 points from Keenan Evans and 14 more from Anthony Livingston.
Tech had lost 20 straight in Austin dating back to Feb. 24, 1996, which was the year Darvin Ham and the Red Raiders went to the Sweet 16. Davis’ 3-pointer made sure that it would be 21 consecutive losses for the Red Raiders at the Erwin Center.
This season has morphed into the Jarrett Allen and Jones show. The two freshmen have taken full control of the scoring and leadership since Tevin Mack’s suspension and show no signs of slowing down. Allen had 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. Jones had 11 points and seven assists.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Let’s look at some all-time series information against in-state opponents. This season, UT-Arlington came to Austin and snapped an 0-11 all-time streak against Texas with a 72-61 win on Nov. 29. Then, TCU ended a 14-game losing streak in Austin with a 64-61 win on Jan. 11. Tech’s streak looked to be coming to an end once the Red Raiders went up 55-52 with less than five minutes remaining. But Texas closed the game on a 6-2 run that made the difference.
The closing stretch of the first half is exactly what UT coach Shaka Smart likes to see. Jacob Young drilled a 3-pointer, and then Andrew Jones swished one of his own from the right corner. James Banks blocked a shot on the other end with 5 seconds left, and then Tech turned it over as time expired. That all led to a 28-26 halftime lead for the Longhorns.
It’s difficult to explain what happened to Texas midway through the second half. It’s almost like the Horns lost interest in the whole affair after getting a 47-37 lead with 11:49 remaining. The defense turned lifeless as Keenan Evans drilled a 3-pointer, Aaron Ross scored inside and Anthony Livingston hit from downtown. Niem Stevenson’s two free throws tied it up 50-50 with 6:50 remaining.
At this point, Texas is halfway through conference play. In all reality, the NCAA Tournament is out of reach this season, unless UT can win the Big 12 tournament. The players all feel they’ll have better luck in the second round of league play, now that they know what to expect. UT starts the second nine-game run on Saturday at TCU, a team that beat Texas 64-61 in Austin on Jan. 11.
Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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