Felix scores 17, No. 9 Texas tops Long Beach State
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) When January arrives, so should Isaiah Taylor, the Texas point guard who is recovering from a broken left wrist.
In the meantime, the ninth-ranked Longhorns are doing all right without him.
Reserve guard Javan Felix scored a season-best 17 points, helping Texas defeat Long Beach State 78-68 Saturday night.
Taylor has been out since being injured against Iowa on Nov. 20. He was averaging 15 points three games into the season.
Taylor is scheduled for X-rays Monday, which will provide a more accurate timetable for his return. Coach Rick Barnes thinks Taylor could be back for the Big 12 Conference opener at Texas Tech on Jan. 3.
The Longhorns are 7-1 without Taylor, including victories against California and at Connecticut and a 12-point loss at No. 1 Kentucky.
Felix made 6 of 9 shots, including three 3-pointers. His previous high this season was 11 points. Felix had three assists against one turnover against Long Beach State.
''Javan played his best all-around game of the season,'' Barnes said.
Jonathan Holmes scored 14 for Texas (10-1) and Cam Ridley had 13.
Connor Lammert had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Longhorns. Reserve center Prince Ibeh blocked four shots in 10 minutes.
Mike Caffey scored 23 to lead Long Beach State (5-7). He made four 3-point shots.
Long Beach State trailed 37-22 with five minutes left before the break, but used a 9-0 run to take a 53-50 lead seven minutes into the second half.
Texas contributed three turnovers to the burst, which culminated with a three-point play by Branford Jones, who made a bank shot while getting fouled by Myles Turner.
''Coach always focuses on getting three stops in a row,'' Caffey said. ''We got six.''
Texas committed nine of its 15 turnovers in the second half. Long Beach State outscored Texas 16-7 in points off turnovers.
''We had to focus on making crisp passes and giving the ball to the post,'' Felix said. ''We took it for granted that we were going to be able throw it in there.''
The Longhorns rectified the problem, trumping Long Beach State with a 12-0 run during which they did not commit a turnover.
The 49ers still had a chance to catch Texas when Tyler Lamb made a basket with 4:36 left, leaving them trailing by eight.
But the 6-foot-8 Holmes scored six straight points for Texas, four of them after grabbing offensive rebounds.
''In the end of the day, they were too physical, too big and too good,'' Long Beach State coach Don Monson said. ''When they get their point guard back, they can play with anybody in the country.''
Long Beach: The 49ers are in the middle of a difficult six-game stretch of road games. They lost at Stephen F. Austin and then-No. 18 San Diego State before arriving in Austin. The next three are at No. 20 St. John's, Syracuse and No. 4 Louisville. Long Beach lost by 29 at SFA but by one point at San Diego State.
Texas: The Longhorns put on an impressive but inefficient shot-blocking show in the first half. They rank fourth in the nation in blocks with 7.6 a game. They swatted two on one Long Beach possession, but failed to retrieve the ball, giving the 49ers a third chance. Long Beach ended up making two free throws.
EVENTFUL GAME FOR HOLLAND
Texas guard Demarcus Holland contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists. To accomplish that, he had to endure a brief episode in the first half in which he got ill and left the game when he was supposed to be shooting two free throws.
After the game, Holland joked it.
''No, my food just didn't sit well with me before the game. My body didn't want that spaghetti, I guess,'' he said.
Long Beach State is at St. John's on Monday.
Texas hosts Stanford on Tuesday.