Texas falls behind early and never comes back in 73-69 loss to Texas Tech

March 08, 2018
  • By Tim Griffin
  • Diehards
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Frigid early shooting put Texas in a huge early hole in their Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals game against Texas Tech.
Backup  guard Jacob Young did what he could to fire the Longhorns back in the game.
But  his career night wasn’t enough in Texas’ 73-69 loss to Texas Tech Thursday night in the Big 12 quarterfinals.
Young erupted for a career-high 29 points off the bench.  It was a season high by any Texas player this season.
The Longhorns missed 13 of their first 14  shots. By that point, the Longhorns already were trailing 14-2.
Matt Coleman’s hoop with 7:55 left pull the Longhorns within 55-54 with 7:55 left. But Texas never led in the game.
Texas coach Shaka Smart gambling with returning Mo Bamba to the lineup with 13:16 left in the first half. It was a bit of a surprise, considering that  Bamba was wearing sweats along the bench with about 30 minutes before tip-off.
Bamba helped spark a mini-run right before the end of the first half. His 3-pointer at the buzzer pulled the Longhorns within 35-28 at the break.
The victory boosts the Red Raiders (24-8) into the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament for the first time since making four consecutive trips under Bob Knight from 2002-05.
Texas drops to 19-14.

3 who mattered

The turning point

Texas was poised to pull within one point when Kerwin Roach II’s layup was blocked by Zhaire Smith. It led to a transition layup by Keenan Evans and a 62-57 lead for the Red Raiders.

The crucial four-point turnaround helped the Red Raiders salt away the victory.

3 observations

The number: 55.6

Texas Tech salted away the victory by shooting 55.6 percent from the field in the second half. It was just enough offense to push the Red Raiders into the semifinals.

What’s next for Texas  basketball

The Longhorns return to Austin to await where they will be placed in the NCAA Tournament. Texas’ victory over Iowa  State in the first round Wednesday night likely pushes them into the tournament with no problem.
They should have the resume to keep  them out of a potential play-in game. But depending on the influence of television, Texas’ national brand could prove attractive enough to put them in the 11th seed grouping that could require a television game.

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