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Texas Longhorns Pull Away From Short-handed Kansas State

Marcus Carr and Courtney Ramey set the tone for the second straight game as No. 14 Texas moves to 2-0 in Big 12

The Texas Longhorns took advantage of a short-handed opponent for the second straight Big 12 game, as the No. 14 Longhorns defeated Kansas State, 70-57, on Tuesday night in Manhattan, Kansas.

Also for the second straight game, guards Marcus Carr and Courtney Ramey led the way for the Longhorns (12-2, 2-0 in Big 12), which was important against the Wildcats (8-5, 0-2) because guard Andrew Jones didn’t make the trip due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Texas needed 30 minutes to get control of a pesky Wildcats team that had just seven scholarship players due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Kansas State was also without head coach Bruce Weber.

Carr and Ramey were center to an 18-4 Texas run in the first nine minutes of the second half. As Texas built a 47-39 lead on K-State with 11:45 left, Ramey made four of his last five shots, which included a 3-for-4 clip from the 3-point line.

Carr led the Longhorns in scoring with 19 points, including three made 3-pointers, a game after scoring 20 against West Virginia. Ramey had 14 points and had three made 3-pointers. Texas bounced back from a tepid first half shooting the ball (38.7 percent) to shoot 54.2 percent for the second half. Forward Timmy Allen had a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds, the latter of which was a career-high. Forward Dylan Disu added 10 points.

Even with Texas’ second-half run, Kansas State managed to cut the Texas lead to as little as six with under three minutes to play. But the Wildcats never made it a one-possession game.

On New Year’s Day, the Longhorns defeated West Virginia, 74-59, as the Mountaineers were missing three players due to COVID-19, including their leading scorer Taz Sherman.

The same happened to K-State. The Wildcats had one more player than the Big 12’s minimum of six scholarship players, and with Weber out, his top assistants, Jermaine Henderson and Shane Southwell, served as acting co-head coaches.

They had the Wildcats ready to go. Despite most of its size being out of the game, sophomore point guard Nijel Pack helped the Wildcats to a 7-0 start and, at one point, a nine-point first-half lead over the Longhorns. Pack scored 15 points in the first half. As a result, Pack and the Wildcats had a 35-29 lead at the break.

Pack had 21 points for the game, as the Wildcats’ shot fell off significantly from the first half (50 percent) to the second half (22.2 percent).

The Longhorns also focused on Wildcats guard Mark Smith, who was the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Week after a 25-point, 16-rebound performance against Oklahoma on Jan. 1. Smith finished Tuesday’s game with six points and seven rebounds. Smith fouled out with 2:31 left. Guard Selton Miguel was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 13 points.

While Jones didn’t make the trip, the Longhorns did get back guard Jase Febres, who sat out Saturday’s win over West Virginia with a knee injury.

Texas is scheduled to face Oklahoma State on Jan. 8 at 1 p.m., a game that will be shown on CBS.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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