KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Frigid early shooting put Texas in a huge early hole in their Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals game against
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
Keenan Evans: Hobbled in recent games with a foot injury, Evans played his most extensive action since the injury. He finished with a
team-high 25 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists as the Red Raiders’ primary offensive weapon, adding eight key points down the
Jacob Young: He kept the Longhorns in the game in the first half. His strong shooting continued throughout the game as he finished with
a career-high 29 points.
Jarrett Culver: The Red Raiders got a nice boost from Culver who scored 13 points and added 11 rebounds for his second career double-double.
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.
- The timing of Bamba’s entry into the game was interesting. Texas Tech had repeatedly carved up Texas’ defense in the first
5 minutes of the game, but most of the points had come outside the paint. It was strange the Smart waited until after his
team was in a sizable hole.
- Texas’ starting lineup looked tired in the first half. Combined, the starters hit 4 for 21 from the field and contributed
only 12 combined points. If it hadn’t been for the strong play of Young and Bamba from the bench, the Longhorns might have
been out of the game. The bench combined for 16 first-half points.
- Dylan Osetkowski had trouble getting involved in the game. His lack of activity was crucial as he limited to 4 points on
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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