December 22, 2014

Texas knows it's turning the ball over too much playing without injured point guard Isaiah Taylor.

The No. 9 Longhorns seek a fourth straight victory without Taylor on Tuesday night when they try to drop Stanford to 0-3 on the road.

Taylor has been out since breaking his wrist in a 71-57 win over Iowa on Nov. 20. He was averaging 15.0 points and will miss this contest along with next week's home game against Rice, though the Longhorns (10-1) hope to have him back for the Big 12 opener Jan. 3 at Texas Tech.

Texas improved to 7-1 without him in Saturday's 78-68 win over Long Beach State. Reserve guard Javan Felix scored a season-best 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting after entering the contest at 38.6 percent from the field.

''Javan played his best all-around game of the season,'' coach Rick Barnes said.

The Longhorns are averaging 14.0 turnovers for one of the Big 12's worst marks. They had nine of their 15 on Saturday in the second half, falling into a three-point deficit before rallying.

"We made too many silly turnovers when we had the lead, we had control of the game," Barnes said. "We just got too casual with the ball and (made) too many mental mistakes with their defense."

Barnes has tried a few combinations among his guards since losing Taylor, settling on bringing Felix off the bench during this win streak. Demarcus Holland has shouldered the bulk of the ballhandling duties, though his 1.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in the last three games is hardly stellar.

Stanford (6-3) takes good care of the ball, averaging 11.0 turnovers.

The Longhorns are winning thanks to a defense limiting foes to 31.4 percent shooting for the nation's third-best mark. They allowed the 49ers, however, to shoot 38.7 percent - a season high for a Texas opponent.

That kind of defense figures to pose a challenge for Stanford, which is in the bottom half of the Pac-12 at 44.2 percent from the field.

Chasson Randle scored 24 points and Stefan Nastic added 20 and nine rebounds in Saturday's 79-77 loss at BYU. The Cardinal yielded 15 offensive rebounds that led to 25 points.

''They had 15 offensive rebounds, which were worth 25 points. That's the ball game. That and points off turnovers,'' coach Johnny Dawkins said.

Rebounding could be an issue since the Longhorns have the best rebound margin in Division I at plus-15.5.

Randle - averaging a team-high 18.9 points - has totaled 55 points over his last two games, though the senior is shooting a career-worst 39.6 percent.

This contest is somewhat of a homecoming for Cardinal reserve guard Christian Sanders, who has played sparingly in his return after missing last season with a hip injury. Sanders played in high school in Houston.

Texas took a 2-1 lead in the series by beating Stanford 82-62 in the 2008 NCAA tournament regional semifinals in the last matchup.

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